Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Harry Potter and My Philosophers Stone



Those of you that have read all of my blog posts and happen to be Harry Potter fans will notice my nods towards the magical Pottersphere from time to time.
The most obvious link being the name of my rotten skanky-ass Cancer, 'VolderTit.'
There were a few reasons for this name. 
At Hogwarts (the wizard school) they call the Nemesis Voldemort  and 'he-who-must-not-be-named.' But It is wisely pointed out by Albus Dumbledore that 'fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself'. So I named my rotten mammary glands after him but then wondered if it was a complete contradiction? Why don't I just call it Cancer? 
I'm not scared of the word Cancer, I just don't like it. It's too vague. My cancer is my cancer and I can speak for most people in Cancerland when I say that being blanketed by muggles is one of the most frustrating parts of explaining cancer....

"Oh you'll be fine. Great Aunt Maud had cancer and she's fine." (Some Nob circa 2015)

 But there are so many cancers, and then there are aggreviatung factors to cancers such as hormones, or lack of hormones. Then different metastasis (spread of cancer)   and therefore you'll find it difficult to actually match two people with identical cancers, life expectancies etc. 

Oh and yeah we call you muggles. We do!!! Non Cancer folk. You don't live in Cancerland...that is not to say that you don't have your own shit going on though. It's just how we refer to you. 

For example:

Resident of Cancerland: my port is getting right on my tit. It's itchy as hell.
Muggle: what's a port?
Resident of Cancerland: it's a little dome under your skin that they stick the chemo needles in.
Muggle: oh right. I thought it was a boat car park like.
Resident of Cancerland: (under breath) fucking muggle.

See? 

It's not meant in a nasty way. We love you. And love that you ask questions. We just also like to make fun and laugh because let's face it... Cancerland is a pretty shit place to be and a little humour goes a long way. 
I also want to point out before someone calls me a muggle-ist that I happen to know lots of muggles, I'm even friends with some, and live with them, so there!! 

I grew up reading the Potter books...that's to say I was about 18 when I got hooked but I believe you spend your whole life growing up. Changing, evolving. I don't know many people that just stay the same when they hit 21. Do you? 
I used to go to ASDA at Cribbs Causeway at midnight when the books were due out. I would stand hip to shoulder with all the little wizards and witches of Bristol, waiting for the spotty night shift kid to wheel out the trolley of books. Then I'd grab mine, fly home and read it until I fell asleep. I'd get lost in the world of spells, magic and fart flavoured jelly beans and it really made me feel excited, like anything was possible. It probably sounds nobby and sad but screw you, I loved that world. 
And that love never went away. 
The films started coming out and the wizarding world was brought to life. Incredible. The train to Hogwarts alone was fantastic. I spent actual time working out where Hogwarts was.......'If the pupils boarded the Hogwarts Express at 11am in London and arrived in the dark in September which I worked out was around 8pm then it must be Scotland somewhere. But then The Hogwarts Express is a steam train right? So it must travel slower than a First Great Western train? But then again it's got magic on its side and has less piss-stinking toilets. 

As I've continued to grow up I've never seemed to lose the love for Harry and Co. I found myself announcing to the room one day when i needed a poo that I was off to 'conjure a Patronus.' This sat nicely alongside some of my favourite poo announcements... 'drop the kids off at the pool,' 'lay a cable,' 'curl one out,' 'drop anchor in poo bay' and now since the addition of kids I like 'Dumplestiltskin.'
One of my friends was telling me the other day that when you do a poo and you look down afterwards and it's gone and then you wipe and there's no proof that it actually happened and wiping becomes unnecessary then it's called a 'Ghost poo' or a 'ghostie.' She said her young daughter had gone to the toilet and when she shouted up to offer paperwork assistance she replied "nah don't worry, it was just a Ghostie". I love kids.
Now that I have terrible bum manoeuvres (can't stand the term bowel movements) when I feel the warning rumble of an imminent poo-Nado it is not uncommon to hear the running of my feet to the bathroom and my mouth declaring 'expecto patronum'. 
It really takes the edge off the awkwardness of pebble dashing someone's toilet. 

Anyway, I digress.
Over the last few months my cancer, VolderTit, has spread again so I've changed drugs to Kadcyla which is now currently my 'Elixir of life',  my 'Philosopher's Stone' and this drug can add an average of 9 months to the life of someone with secondary breast cancer. Those 9 months are crucial. 
Can you imagine being told you will die? I know we all die, but when a Dr tells you it'll be sooner then you think, you do shit yourself a bit. And 9 months......it doesn't sound like a lot does it? But to someone to whom every minute counts, it is. 9 months gives someone the chance to set their affairs in order. To write letters to their children, to say those goodbyes in all the ways they'd like and to show their other half where the mop is kept. 
This is a very important drug that has had amazing effects. I can physically see on my skin where the Cancer used to be, has now cleared. Imagine being able to watch Cancer growing up your body like Creeper Vines up a house? See it traveling across your skin, spreading over you? It's scary. I conjured an enormous patronus when I saw this happening. Then, when given Kadcyla I saw it in reverse. I saw it slowly reduce and fade. It will return, we know this but at the moment it's at bay. I have been bought time. There is no more precious a gift then time. 

Creeper Vines Aug 2016
Now they are on about taking Kadcyla away from some women with secondary breast cancer because it's too expensive. If this happens these women will likely die quicker. If Kadcyla wasn't given to me in September then I could be so much closer to death than I am now. I'm not sugar coating it, this is fucking serious. Please sign the petition on my Facebook page 'storm in a tit cup by Heidi' or go to the Breast Cancer Now website. 

Now, as if by magic Keith and I attended the London Premiere of the new JK Rowling film 'Fantastic Beasts and where to find them.' We arrived at Leicester Square and saw hundreds of fans dressed up ready to see JK and hot Eddie with the red mane. (This man is representing us Gingers impeccably) 

Us with our tickets. I finally have more hair than Keith! 


Whilst in the lift at our hotel a posh American lady asked me what all the homeless people were queuing for outside in Leicester Square. I explained that this was in fact a large collection of Hagrid's and Dobby the House Elf's which is just, you know, standard British behaviour. She looked at me like I was 'Fluffy.' (The three headed dog that guards the Philosophers Stone)  





We walked down the red (well it was blue) carpet and there was JK!!!!! Just next to me. So close I could have poked her with my wand but I didn't. I was too shy. I wanted to go over and tell her how amazing she is but she hears that constantly. I wouldn't have time to tell her all the stuff I've told you...about VolderTit and also how poignant her writing is. How wise. 
I wanted to tell her how much i want to stay alive long enough to read the books to the boys. About how I'm thinking of recording my voice reading the books just in case I'm not. 
I wanted to tell her that Albus Dumbledore says one of the wisest things I've heard or read. 
In fact this mantra is something that Ive carried in my head constantly since VolderTit landed in my life and even more so since the death of my daughter Ally.  

"happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light" 

 To lose my daughter, my darkness. To live for my sons, my light.

 Amen Albus. You cape wearing genius. 

Keith and I went to the after party. There was a book shelf full of doughnuts, a wall of sandwiches and an entire bar full of sweets!!! It was amazing. Grown adults stuffing sweets in at a hundred miles an hour. Pure bliss. 


Phoenix Ice Sculpture 
The sweetie bar

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Fred

Email for man forum: pete@mummysstar.org

Dangly balls. Wangs. Testosterone. Smelly shoes. Hairy arses. Hairy chests. Hairy feet. Love of boobies. Love of football. Love of rugby. Enjoyment of beer or wine. Eats curry. Punches walls. Smells own farts. Has an inability to wipe own arse properly. Talks about feelings.......hang on......my fingers felt those lies as they crept out. 
That's not right is it? Men talk about their feelings? Do they really? I'm not convinced.

Now I'm well aware of the sweeping generalisations I made in that last paragraph, it's kind of the point to this slightly different post.

When Neanderthal man walked out the cave scratching his nuts do you think his first activity of the day was a group therapy session around an animal carcass, discussing his feelings? 
No.
While Wilma was out the back dragging her rags down a bumpy stone to achieve perfect whites whilst chatting to Betty about BamBams use of the 'F' word, Fred was pissing on flintstones showing his prehistoric nob to his mates.



Men don't talk!!!! (In the stereotypical sense anyway) 

When I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer last September while pregnant, the ass end fell out of our world. 
Along with 10,000 trees worth of leaflets, I left the breast clinic with a list of online support groups that would carry me through everything from chemo induced ass wing-nuts (or haemorrhoids) to the fear of imminent death. 
I logged on that night and had every questioned answered that I needed, immediately! I was given tips, advice and weird suggestions but by and large a feeling of support. I wasn't the only one in the world facing this. I was able to blurt out anything and have an answer immediately....
Does your growler hair fall out?
Will I lose my teeth?
What do you think happens when you die?

I have been through diagnosis of a very rare and extremely aggressive cancer, chemo in pregnancy, premature birth, the heart exploding loss of our daughter, a secondary diagnosis to my lungs, radiotherapy, mastectomy and a further secondary spread to my skin. I can honestly say all these things have support groups but where oh where is Neanderthal man in all this? Is he out the back waxing his arse with fermented berries not giving a shit? 
No he's not. He's sitting on his feelings, quietly dealing with his shituation alone. He's in the cave. And the cave is a very lonely place.

You see he has spent all his time supporting Wilma. Wilmas mental health is quite astounding considering the horrors she has faced. She has Betty to talk to. She also has all the other women surrounding her. It's ok for Wilma to talk over a bone, with anyone. 

But Fred? Well he's screwed. You see some stupid twat thought it was a great idea to start a rumour that men don't share their fears and feelings. Instead they created a role for themselves as protector but gave themselves no room to be a human being. 
Fred doesn't talk.
Fred didn't get any leaflets. 



Jamie, whose wife Kellyanne has incurable Cancer recounts the following: 

 "They passed me a bag of her possessions, including her wedding ring, and told me she would need major bowel surgery and they would call me when it was over.
That was the first of 3 occasions I’ve had to watch Kel disappear through a door for major surgery not knowing if she would come back out again.
Kel and I are just 31 years old. Reading this I imagine everyone is thinking the same thing – this is absolutely shit. 
Over the last few years I’ve met and read about so many women who have gone through what Kel is going through and witnessed incredible courage and endurance in even the most terrible of situations . However very little is written from the perspective of the partner.
Specifically what i wanted to touch on is the stereotype that men are too macho to talk about their feelings. Most people who know me will probably say the same thing which is along the lines of ‘he deals with it all really well but he doesn’t really talk about it’.
Is that because i’m ‘too manly’ to talk or show emotion. Nope! Of course I get upset about it – i cry regularly about it but just because i don’t show it in front of people doesn’t mean i bottle it up." Jamie from MummysStarMen    (Click here for the full article)

Jamie clearly identifies the importance of avoiding being Fred. As does Pete Wallroth who created the charity Mummy's Star in honour of the memory of his beautiful wife Mair.




"Now bear in mind, as a person I have sought support when required in the past. I have never hidden my emotions. I have never been afraid to cry, I have never seen counselling or any other form or support as a sign of weakness. In fact I think each and every one of us could benefit from a few hours counselling even if we don’t think we need it.
So, the idea of seeking support when I most needed it should have been a given for me…..but yet I didn’t. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t want to worry family, I didn’t want to seem weak to friends and I most certainly didn’t want to show it to Mair. Surely it was the last thing she needed?
Wrong!
It was a relief to her. One night while I had Merlin propped up on my knees with Mair sat beside me on the couch, I stared as his little face sleeping and tears started running down my face. How could I begrudge this little guy, Our baby sunshine my love and attention. Tears turned to sobbing and before long I was crying my eyes out in Mair’s arms. I broke down.
“How are you supposed to look after them and me, if you don’t look after yourself?” she asked.
I remember uttering something along the lines of “I can’t, I’ve not got time” to which I think she responded with something along the lines of “Bloody hell I’m not that sick that I can’t have them for 2 hours!” with a smile on her face then gave me another massive hug.
And that was it. The next day I rang a local day hospice that Mair had also been going to and I made an appointment with Jacqui and at that appointment I balled by eyes out again.
And you know what. It didn’t take the situation away. It didn’t remove the cancer from our lives, It didn’t magically create some home help…..but it got it out of me that yes I struggled and it felt good. It was like opening a valve and letting some air out. The difference between a slow puncture or a complete blow out on the motorway doing 80!" (Click here for the full article)  

 My Keith has propped me up, our kids up, my mum and himself since this all started and I will honestly admit that I've neglected him. I was far too wrapped up in what was happening to me to really consider my Fred. 
I like to think that nowadays I'm a little bit more aware of Keith's feelings. He is in this with me but  he is also carrying me (not an easy task when I weigh 40 stone and have a meatball subway hanging out my mouth). 
BUT I am worried about all the men out there that are stuck in the cave with only their smelly shoes, hairy arses and skid marked pants for company. There will be men across the UK punching holes in their caves, quietly sitting on the pain of supporting a loved one who is critically ill.
Pete, Jamie, myself and a whole lot of others want to give men a place to chat and get themselves out of the cave.
Please, if you know any man that has a loved one who is ill, share this post with them. They just need to email Pete directly at pete@mummsstar.org and he will invite them to the 'man forum'. 
When you tell The Fred's about the group they may tell you to piss off and that they don't need support  but they may secretly sneak on there and just not tell you, Fred stylie. They can retain the image of Fred without being Fred. 
No one should feel they can't talk to anyone.
Get Fred out of the Cave xx

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Ally's Birthday




An empty bed.

A year ago today you came 
A beam of sunshine in the rain
My bursting heart could just withstand 
The rush of love as you held my hand

You did so well, the Drs said
But then you left. An empty bed
We love you more then words can say
Forever beside me. Happy 1st Birthday  



Thursday, 27 October 2016

Confessions of Buffalo Bill

So, I like to think that when you read my wafflings and rude stories your experience is heightened by knowing who is typing them. You know what I'm going through. I have incurable Inflammatory Breast Cancer and my little girl is in heaven. 
I think you think  'wow she's tough. She's so in control. She's so brave.' I'll let you in on a little secret....I'm manipulating you. 
You may have read my posts over the last 12 months and believed that my face doesn't change. That it is was fixed firm when the wind changed. You believe that every day I'm 100% positive. I'm sorry to break it to you. It's not true!!! I'm a fake. I'm wearing someone else's skin...I, my friends, am Buffalo Bill. 

I take ages to update you, some of the things you read happened bloody ages ago. Then I tell you stuff that isn't in chronological order. Then I skirt over things like they aren't important. Then I mask everything with humour. 
But why am I doing this? 
Because it works. 
Plain and simple. Writing helps me. Humour helps me. Positivity really helps me. It works. I feel bloody fantastic!!! Not only that, I'm convinced that I will outlive my statistics by a country mile. That's not my skin suit talking...that's the truth. 

But when things go bent I do cry and get hysterical and feel sorry for myself. I then blame myself and then I'm angry with myself for blaming myself. I've got enough to deal with without being mad at me! It's not fair to me! 
So, who can I be angry at? Whose fault is it that I'm here?  
It's no ones fault is it. There is no blame. Therefore, there can't be any anger. 

Hysteria does appear from time to time...its about how you bounce back. I tend to follow this pattern: positivity - bad news - hysteria - humour - positivity. 

I had my boob off in July. A few days later, a rash appeared below my scar. I thought it was just a reaction to surgery, someone may have left their tool on my chest whilst operating (wahey). So I watched the rash for a few weeks and then I went to Camp Bestival with Noah (I didn't take Tait as I thought he'd end up licking a portaloo). I had some quality time with the threenager, we went on the official biggest bouncy castle in the world. I got whacked in the face by some hero dad doing a flying karate kid reenactment for his uninterested 4 year old. 

I came back room the festival and announced to Scouse that I had a new rash. He was instantly on it, pushing me onto the phone to get an appointment. I think he sharted a bit too, he hid it well though. 
We got in the car to the Breast Clinic and I blurted out the following without coming up for air....

"I don't  wanna die. I'm too young. If it's back then I'm definitely and officially dying the boys will grow up without me and they won't remember me and Tait is only two he won't have a fucking clue who I am and what if you meet someone else and they move into my house and the boys start calling her mum and they introduce her as their mum at parents evening and the only memories they have of me are false ones enforced on them by you and my mates and what if she's mean to them and what if they love her and what if they think I've abandoned them one day when I don't come home and what if this woman lives in my house and you get married and then divorced and she takes all our money. What if she wants to move away and then my mum can't drive and won't see the boys everyday and what if my friends all like her and what if they think she's a cunt and what if I can't come back and haunt her and what if I can and what would I say and what would my code word be so that people knew it was me coming through from the other side it would have to be something rude like 'pull my finger' or I had threatened gemma with putting sanitary towels on her bathroom mirror instead of REDRUM. Which is funny isn't it and what if I have a long drawn out death in a hospice and have to keep saying goodbye and what if I get hit by a bus tomorrow and I've spent all day wondering how I'll haunt someone"

And breathe........

For fucks sake people, I can tell you it wasn't pleasant!!!!

I then looked up into the sun visor mirror and squashed my forehead fat together 'whoa what the fuck was that?' I thought.
I looked over at Scouse and he'd gone grey. He reached out a hand to me and instead of 'don't worry you're not gong to die' he said  'I know you're scared and I understand'. That's exactly what I needed to hear. No one really wants to be told they're acting irrational when in fact I believe it was one of my most rational moments I'd had.
I'm not referring to Scouse getting a new woman, I'm referring to the fear of death. 
I'm not overly concerned about a new girlfriend because you can't improve on perfection (yeah alright, other than my cancerous body) So I'm aware I'm a hard act to follow. 
We all die!!!! I hate to break it to you, but we all die. 
I am not scared of death. I am scared of my heart breaking when I say goodbye. I've done it before with Ally. It's a pain that rips through every part of you. A pain so crippling that you believe you will die from it.
I'm scared that the boys will think I've just left them one day. That I didn't bother to come home. I'm scared they won't have real memories of me. 

Are these fears irrational? No. No they are not. They are irregular not irrational
Not many people have to face their death. It's irregular to be constantly facing the thought that you may die soon. But let me tell you, it's a completely rational fear.  And one that has taught me a lot. That classic lesson of trying to live in the now just in case you get hit by the X3 to Cribbs Causeway. You need to bridle that fear and ride it like a fucking master!!!

I go for the appointment about the rash. There are a few back and fourths around what they think this rash is as they are all convinced it's not Cancer. Just a normal everyday rash. So simple. 
But they were wrong. 
Not unlike fake butter...its spread. 
This bastard cancer has now spread into my skin. 
Did you know you could have breast cancer in your skin? I have breast cancer in my lungs AND my skin.....no I don't have little tits growing on my skin or bazookas in my lungs...its the live cancer cells from my Inflammtory breast cancer in those places. They have spread. 
What does this mean? Well it's not good news. It means my drugs are no longer working so for a second time we move to new ones. 
I'm gradually working my way down the menu and what started off as Ribeye steak is gradually becoming yesterday's leftovers. 
You start with the best thing in the market and work your way down. 
I'm now on a drug called Kadcyla. My oncologist has assured me though that this can be thought of as just as good as the last drugs, just different. Maybe a better fit.
Kadcya....A weird name. When I went for the first treatment of this drug 3 weeks ago my mum said "ere, you avin that Cadfael today?" Yes. Yes I am. I will spend all day riding a Benedictine monk who solves crimes over my shoulder. Phowaor. 
Now those of you that pray, please, I'd appreciate a little nod in my direction and those that don't can you cross your fingers with the intensity of taking a dump after three weeks of carbs.
I need these drugs to work miracles. 
I asked about 'numbers' again....people who start this drug live an average on 2.5 years if they work, if they don't, we are talking months. 

Well this is not acceptable!!! Noah starts school in September next year, Tait has just turned two, I have a new nephew arriving in January who has the best name ever  and Scouse is still refusing to eat fruit!!!!! I need to hit these mile stones. It's non negotiable. 

Now I appreciate this is awful news and you are now maybe a little sad. For different reasons...some will be sad as they are parents and are scared for me, some are sad because it might mean I can't write this blog when I'm dead (quija board?) and some are sad because they won't have me in their lives anymore. 
Can I just say that despite this latest news I'm not telling myself I have a short time left. Absolutely not!!! I'm not having it and quite frankly this cancer can go blow itself
I see myself in my 40s you fucking cunt!!! Kiss my crinkly brown star!!!! FUCK YOU!!!!!!!! FUCKKKKK YYYOOUUUUU!!!!!! 

And as much as I will enjoy haunting everyone, in a humorous manner, I'm not getting there just yet!!! I'm alive!!! I've never been more alive in my life! 
And I'm not going anywhere. Bears Grylls is right! Drink your own piss to survive and POSITIVITY POSITIVITY POSITIVITY
It's so much better then giving up.

Keep your skin suit for when you need it (mine has been made from the skin of my friends and family) and FYI if I do haunt you, my code word is Dib Dab in honour of Scouse, whose called Keith by the way xxx 

Last weekend in Cyprus with some of the Skin Suit. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Falling off the stage.


So I'm going to talk about two things. One that has happened and one that is about to happen. 
Sorry, hello by the way. Oh and this is a long one, you may want to get a brew.

So, around March time this year, some butt head , or maybe a few butt heads , put me foreword for a Parenting Blog Award. The Mum and Dad (MAD) blog awards to be exact. I didn't even know there was such a thing and was raising the flesh above my eye (note I couldn't raise a eyebrow, I had non) and wondering what this would all be about. I'll be honest, other than The Unmumsy Mum and The Sun Will Come Up I've never really read any blogs. I was completely unaware that there are bloody millions of them flying around in cyber space covering everything from life with an ingrown toenail to different ways to style your dog.
The only other blogs I had experienced were a quick glance at Cancer ones, and let me tell you, us Cancer Folk can be a depressing little bunch at times.  So I was chuffed. And I thought I'd give a couple of the people who 'follow' me a chance to vote. I'll be honest, I've actually got no idea how many people read my blog.
How do you know? 
I know how many 'hits'  I've had (cannot get the vision of me sucking on a bong when i say this) but regular followers? No idea. 
So yeah I asked you to vote if you felt like I deserved it. Not because I've got cancer and you feel sorry for me, but if you actually thought my writing was 'best.' 
Anyway, that was March / April time and they kept us hanging on until the 16th September to find out the results.  
We were asked to turn up at a hotel in Laaannnddaannn Taannn  (or London) and eat some food and chuck a load of wine down our necks so of course I said yes.
My friend Lizzie and I went halves on a hotel room (it was still like 10 million pounds) and off we went. 

So, it all started really well. I dumped the boys on my mum, had radiotherapy at 945am, tucked my crispy non-tit into a shitty old granny bra with my fake foam dome boob, and hauled ass to Bristol Temple Meads train station. I queued up for my ticket and the man behind the desk said "I Love your haircut by the way" My automatic response was "what?" He replied  "Your hair cut. It's nice" and I looked at him and he wasn't laughing!!!!!  He was actually being serious!!! Then I remembered.....I'm not bloody bald anymore am I! My hair has actually gone from Cancer hair to hair hair. Awesome. I realise its the first compliment I've had about my appearance that has come from someone who isn't just being nice to the woman with Cancer. It's a real compliment!!!!! So Thank you Temple Meads Man, and may I say I liked the skin you were wearing on your head too. It was lush! 

So, I get to London and I meet some of my favourite people...my old work mates (I better not name them as I think they may have been scivving) and I tell them about how posh my hotel is - The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington don't you know. When I checked in the lady asked "can I give your bags to this gentlemen" and gesticulated towards some kind of Beefeater and I blurted "why where's he taking them?" and of course she replied "um, to your room." Well Posh!!

I go to the room to get ready and I think 'wow. A shower without children opening the door and asking me what I'm doing or bowling in and taking a toddler-wee next to the cubicle which inevitably goes down the wall and across their feet.' Peace at last.
I dump all my clothes on the floor and step into the shower slamming the door firmly behind me....or so I thought. 
I'm blissfully shaving my legs, a chore that has only recently re-entered my life, checking out my radiation burns and noting how I seem to have got off lightly so far. I'm carefully washing off my eyebrows, oblivious to the Tsunami that was washing across the posh bathroom floor. 
Shower is turned off and I go to step out of the cubicle, I notice how shiny the floor tiles are as I can literally see my reflection. I stamp my giant hobbit foot onto the tiles and my reflection starts to 'ripple,' not unusual given the state of my body at the moment, but then my face wobbles away!!!! Oh shit!!!! Has radiation caused my face to fall off? NOOOO then it dawns on me I've flooded the pissing bathroom haven't I!  Not only that but that granny bra and fake foam dome tit are they only ones I have with me and one is fully submerged under 3inches of posh water and 'Soap and Glory' suds and the other is floating towards the heated towel rail. Bollocks!!!! I scoop up the sodden mess and dump it on the shelf behind the bog while I rush around naked in the bathroom, mopping up water with the bath mat, one tit swinging freely in the air.
I finally get all the floor water down the sink and go to retrieved the bra, foam dome and other clothes off the shelf and I shit you not, I dropped them in the bastard toilet!!! 
Well, I don't have a spare!! It's 45 mins until launch and I have no spare tit and nothing to put it in. I can see visions of myself sitting in my dress talking to a real blogger and suddenly a wet bra shape emerges through my dress. 
My buggery bollocks!!! I try stuffing all my clothes on the heated towel rail. Slipping the boob down the back. Too slow.....Where's the free hairdryer????
So that's what I did. I dried my shower/toilet water sodden tit and bra with the complimentary hair dryer. Then off I went. Oh actually I put clothes on first you understand. 

So it was a drinks reception first and I met some other bloggers who were lovely. I quickly learnt that 'hi I'm Heidi' is as pointless as wrapping presents for a 3 month old. People would raise their lovely hairy eyebrows at me and I quickly learned to introduced myself as 'STORM IN A TIT CUP'....it was....different. Kinda cool. I couldn't wait to meet someone who might say 'hi I'm HAIRY BALLS - PRIVATE SCHOOLS' or 'nice to meet you I'm OH SO HAPPY CRAPPY NAPPY' or even 'alright my dear I'm MY TODDLER THE SHITHEAD' but alas people are equally as sensible as me. 

We had dinner and just before they began to announce the winners I rushed off to the traps for my millionth wee of the night and the smallest most delicate of lady-poo's ...nerves, alcohol and the lasting effects of 10 months of chemotherapy. And bless, there was another blogger throwing out much more than words....my god the poor lady. After Friday her Twitter name is probably @chundercatsarego, @vomitcomet or @leastihadabucket. Awful. I provided a jug of water and back I went. 

So the awards began and there were many category's and I really enjoyed hearing about all the blogs and made notes to follow these amazing people. But by far the best part for me was when the entertainment started...and by that I mean when another blogger fell off the stage. This gorgeous blonde in a black dress went ass over tit down the back of the stage and I had a front row seat!!!! 
There was a rumble and I looked over to see two sculpted legs go flying into the air, they were akimbo  and I saw a flash of black material or very dark beaver hair followed by feet and then gasps from the audience. I did what any good person would do and cheered!!!! Well someone needed to break the silence!!! I then sat down and I'm ashamed to say I howled for at least 12 minutes, to the point of tears. I'm so sorry lady with lovely legs, but your fall made my night! I salute you!! You styled it out too by waving your arms in the air, awesome. 

It then got to the Best Writer category and I listened as they described this blog that showed humour despite the subject matter, bravery in the face of adversity and sheer courage. And I must say I was proud when I heard them say that was my blog. But I was also sad because I cannot believe this is my life. I often think my life is like the elaborate plot on a soap and GoogleBox lounges would scream 'oh that's crap, as if that would ever happen to one person' , but it's real and it's all true. And it's fucking awful. 
But I will say again, I cannot let my little boys lives be swallowed up by darkness. I cannot let my little girls memory be clouded by what is happening to me. 
So when I won the award, I cried. And not because I was greatful, although I was extremely greatful, I cried because this means I've done something positive. It will make my three children proud, and Scouse (who is already extremely proud) prouder and really all my friends, family and the virtual friends I've made who have supported me the whole way along and into the future. 
I dedicated my award to my boys, my little girl in heaven and to the lady being sick in the toilet. I wish I had added stage fall lady too because she got up, dusted off her fabulous self and kept on going. I feel I can relate to that stage fall. In all manner of ways.
Trying to look posh
The other thing I need to tell you is that GoogleBox may well get a chance to question my plot. When I was pregnant with Ally I allowed a documentary crew into my life in the hope of raising awareness of Inflammatory Breast Cancer and Cancer in pregnancy. I wanted to do my bit. They filmed everything and most beautifully, the moment my daughter Ally was born. 
Ally's 8 days with us, short but electrified by love. 
I decided to carry on with the documentary as Ally had a lot more to say and I could facilitate that. See, she is her mothers daughter and we never give up.

Ally is with me, always. 
She was with me as I accepted my award. She was with me when I watched the documentary and I cried very hard. And she is with me all the nights I lie awake thinking of her. She gives me courage in the darkest of times and bravery in the face of adversity. 
I would love it if you could watch it. It goes out in the UK and Ireland on 26th September on TLC. It's under the title 'Extraordinary Pregnancies.'

There are further dates below. These can change and I'll let you know if they do. It will also go out in USA at some point, again I'll let you know. I will also post updates on Facebook: Storm In a Tit Cup by Heidi and Twitter:  @storminatitcup


So, I sign off tonight whilst watching Poldark, looking at my award glinting from the table. 'Storm In A Tit Cup' has now been active for 10 months and I know that despite what prognosis-paperwork-crap says about me, I'll still be writing it in 10 years. Who knows if anyone will still read it and what the hell I'll be waffling about but to all you butt heads who voted and to those of you that didn't, thank you. Thank you for your continued support which never fails to choke me up. Please know I read every single comment that you write even though I don't always reply, they are all so gratefully received. 

I never did see toilet spew lady again that night but she will have gone home and woken up with no memory, a mouth like a Tramps pants and the abs of a god from all the heaving but I won't forget her. A stark reminder that even in the poshest of hotels life isn't always picture perfect. 

And to stage fall lady, high fucking five. Keep your pants black, or your growler hairy.... You never know when you might fall off the stage but it's getting back up that matters X

Extraordinary Pregnancy Dates 

Poland - TLC - 19th Septmber 
Africa - TLC Entertainment - 21st September 
Europe Pan Region - TLC - 24th September 
Hungary - TLC - 24th September 
UK - TLC - 26th September 
Ireland - TLC - 26th September 
Arabia - TLC - 4th October 
Italy - Real Time - 6th October 
Denmark - TLC - 6th October 
Norway - TLC - 6th October 


Sweden - TLC - 6th Ocotber 

Monday, 29 August 2016

The Toothless Trails. Trail 2: Ceebeebies world.

Seizing the day.

Let me tell you this....you cannot seize every day. It's too bloody tiring. Some days, you should flop out of bed, face down onto the sofa, wear the same pants you had on yesterday, pick the crust off your Primark joggers and catch up with celebrity big brother. 
You don't have to wake up each morning and announce that 'today you shall learn Spanish', 'walk up Scaffell Pike' (personally I prefer Fan-Y-Big for obvious reasons - Google it.. It's real) or 'flit to Paris for a spot of snail munching'. No! It's too hard. 

But what I would recommend is filling any 'empty space' with something. 
If you have a weekend looming but no other plans then to deworm Fido or take Great Aunt Gravy-Chin out to buy some new marquee pants; why not go glamping? Or go on a forest combing walk? You could take Great Aunt Gravy-Chin with you. 
Have you heard of 'geo caching'? That's something we are starting. It's a treasure hunt and I was surprised to learn they are all over my town. 

Anyway, since I opened the one way door to Cancer-land, people rarely say 'no' to me so I've been doing a lot lately!

My Uni friends and I went to the Peak District with our kids. We can't call it a 'holiday' as the kids were there. It was an adventure. 
We quickly referred to the day trips we took as 'Funishment'. 

Adults: "Come on everyone. Let's head to Monkey-Land for some Funishment."

Kids: "Tait just bit me / I want the car seat with the sick on / Milo's Poohed his pants / I hate Monkeys / I wanted to open my own crisp packet / why are there trees here, I hate trees / why is that monkey touching his Winky? / I'm bored." And on and on and on

Adults: "everybody just shut up and enjoy yourselves OK. Mummy and Daddy have paid £5.30 to get in here, plus parking. You will enjoy yourself!"

FUNISHMENT. FUNISHMENT. La la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaa.

It was a huge 'team' effort. All working together to enjoy a group adventure. And then laughing when things most certainly didn't resemble 'The Walton's.' Like when Tait crapped in the communal bath. 
It was all going so well. The two youngest boys in the bath together. No one had bitten anyone, the bath resembled an Ibiza foam party, the tunes were banging (the babies in the bath go splish splash splosh etc) and the boats were being 'shared nicely.' 
Then suddenly, just as the older kids were about to get in the recycled water, a shriek of 'oh my god what's that in the water?' Booms across the bathroom. My blood runs cold as I immediately think 'SHARK!!!!!', then I remember we are in a farmhouse in Bradnop and Jaws was filmed in America.....'fucking hell it must be a floater' and sure enough a fleet of brown submarines had been deployed towards various coordinates across the bath. Cue my friend Cathy and I, frantically scooping our children out of the bath and wiping theirs butts with white towels to established who was responsible. (Good Night John Boy) 

We spent a day at Alton Towers. One of the items on the bucket and spade list . Toothless stayed at the house for this one. I bet she was pleased!!
It was very different to the AT trips of yesteryear. Gone were the days of coach trips that left Bristol at 6am to deliver a large group of pubescent teens reeking of BO to spend the whole day drinking coke, not eating anything that isn't 90% sugar and re-riding Nemisis or Corkscrew until we barfed everywhere. No no no! 
We now walked passed Rita Queen of Speed with our heads hanging low, to enter the world of CBeebies. 
It's like someone chucked the bedtime hour, some neon paints and a can of red bull into a cocktail shaker, gave it a vigorous shake and then opened it in your face. 
It was insane!!!!

The 'in the night garden' boating adventure was Taits favourite. True to form, all the animation was powered by the sound of farts. Upsy Daisy's mechanical skirt had got slightly stuck up and she was basically showing her Foof to all and sundry whilst shouting 'whoopsie daisy do'....It was just like Geordie Shore.
The Pontipines were hardly there at all and the Wattingers had completely fucked off. We were waved off the ride by Iggle Piggle and that stiff red blanket which you just know has been used as a jiz rag. 

The 'pirate ship' was Noah's favourite. Scouse almost lost his shit when I told him it was my turn to go on something with Noah as Tait was too small and had to stay behind. Luckily my dear friend Lou stepped in to look after Tait before Scouse had a melt down.
I came into my own here as if you've ever been to Bristol before, you'll know that we sound an awful lot like pirates. I was oooooing and aaarrrrring up a storm. 
Basically you get in these boats that have water guns on and you can shoot the public and they you. We launched the boat and were 'jolly rogering' our asses off until we rounded the corner....Josh, who is also 3, was promptly shot in the face by some over zealous dad and began to scream his head off, an extremely violent 8 year old used my bald head as a target and completely destroyed my drawn on eyebrows. Scouse was shooting everyone he could see (including the little two year old girl in the pink coat) while Noah was shouting "help me daddy" to which Scouse replied "Sorry I can't son, I've got pirate jobs".
Needless to say it was carnage. 
We then spent 30 minutes queuing to go in one of those stand up hair dryer things. We were reunited with Tait who wanted to join in the hairdryer fun and promptly shat his nappy on a colossal scale. We only realised he'd 'Conjured a Patronus' when the hairdryer began to honk of onions as his nappy was being cooked by the dryer and the fumes blown around us and subsequently the unsuspecting queue of soggy pirates. 
Ahhh good memories. Tait really sized his day there. 

The holiday was fantastic. Scouse and I worked well as a team. I think I can only recall one passive aggressive parent moment when Tait had chucked his curry everywhere and Scouse asked me to clean him up as I had not sat down yet to eat my tea. I replied that really as he was already half way through his meal, he could maybe do it. He promptly replied "there's no 'I' in team Heidi" and gave me his best shit-eating grin. As I turned back to the kitchen to get wipes I'm sure he didn't hear me mutter under my breath 'no but there's a 'U' in Cunt" 

I love spending time with my Uni friends and their families. I don't get to see them that much as they live far away but they've been there for me so much throughout all this crap, and will continue to be there for me even when they are going through their own crap. 
I sometimes forget that my friend Lou nearly died from Menigistis while we were at Uni. She has also had skin Cancer. She is my age. I don't forget because I'm so wrapped up in myself. I forget because she is one of the toughest people I know and she chalks these situations up to experience. She doesn't let them dominate. She doesn't wear the experience on her face. Yes, she wears a lot of sun cream, but she's really ginger and practically see through, so you'd never suspect Cancer was the reason.

And my friend Cathy. Well, she was the one who shaved her head when my hair fell out. She is extremely tough and strong in other ways, ways she wouldn't thank me for typing but I know you trust me when I tell you, she is nails.

I take my strength from my friends and family and the support of people I've never met. People like you.

When faced with this terrible illness that has taken so much from me and may take more in the future, all the bullshit around the edges falls away. I don't care much about my car, about a promotion or about nice handbags; I care about experiences. I care about making the best of everything with the people that mean the most to me.

Seizing the day is about making it count. Not because I think I'm dying...no no no! It's because I'm living. 




Thursday, 4 August 2016

Numbers

So I'm sat having Non-chemo chemo (keeps you alive but doesn't make your hair fall out) and I really need a wee. But I don't want to go because then I've got to drag 'Old Man Wheely Legs' with me. It's not that I don't like him or I'm ashamed of him...its just that we look like we are kind of dancing down the corridor together. Also the urge to hunch over whilst dragging his skinny ass, is just too tempting. I did it last time at Oncology and not one person laughed, except the nurse. What's with this crowd? 
Whenever I have succumbed to the 30 litres of 'post toddler night-riot rocket fuel (coffee)' I've chucked down my throat, I have had to unplug 'Old Man Wheely Legs' and we do some kind of crazy drug-machine-human tango to the bog. Dragging my bag of fluids, to empty my fluids to be replaced with more fluids, to the fluid despenser, fluidly.
It's one of the only times I feel I actually look like an ill person. 
So as I sit here crossing and uncrossing my legs, I've concluded I shall just piss myself. Because that's less uncomfortable.


 Me and 'Old Man Wheely Legs'
Here we are demonstrating the Tango


So, what's happening with me? 
The boob got cut up and then thrown into the 'body-part bonfire' underneath the hospital. Or plonked into a jar of vinegar. Whatever it is they do with chopped off bits.
When it was dissected, some Cancer was found. 
This may not sound like a surprise to the muggles (I had cancer of the bap after all) but the hope is that chemo gets rid of everything in the boob which puts you in the 'complete pathological response' bracket. I didn't  quite make that but it's almost clear. This is medium news. 

The NHS deem me as Non-Curable due to a belief that the Cancer has spread to my lungs. 
This is called Secondary Breast Cancer - it has left its primary residence and travelled to a second home. 
Once this has happened the 'door for cure' slams firmly shut. 
There is no going back. 
I am now on palliative care. Palliative is a term that I would associate with people very close to the drop off zone. Obviously this is not always the case because have you seen me lately??? 
5 of my chins have gone, leaving me with just 3. I've jumped out of a plane, my ass can again be contained within a 4-man tent as opposed to a marquee, my hair is growing back at about 2 millimetres a month and my scalp is the texture of a Kiwi fruit. I've been camping 3 weeks post mastectomy, body slammed my 2 sons regularly AND I haven't shat myself for at least 4 weeks. I FEEL GREAT! 
Numbers and labels eh? Puh!!!!

Let me tell you, I have asked the million dollar question...how long have I got? What is my number
And let me be clear on this....no one really knows. Of course I did push for this to be answered but maybe not for the obvious reasons. 
If you chuck my current info post mastectomy into a date generator then it spits out 4-5 years. I've already had Inflammatory Breast Cancer for 1.5 years so my 'C' in GCSE maths leads me to calculate (with a calculator) that computer says NOOOO hope for you living more than 3.5 years. 
Now I'm not being naive nor am I in denial when I tell you that that info is Grade A, 24 carat bullshit. And honestly, a few of my medical team would agree. 

Although that is a number. It is just a number. There is so little research on IBC that really nobody knows. There are people that will be given 10 years and then be gone in 10 days, there are people that will be given 1 year and out live us all. And there is of course no immunity to other deaths when you have Cancer....I could still be eaten by a shark or choke on a chicken foot at Nandos. No one really knows. 

A prognosis does make you get your admin together....we (Scouse and I) now have wills. We also have medical and financial power of attorney over each other....every time Scouse and I argue over the remote he says 'don't wind me up...I have legal powers to switch you off remember' and then I remind him that in fact I have the same power over him. That shuts him up.

One thing 'the number' generated was an impromptu midnight convo two days ago...

Me: Scouse?

Him: Yeah?

Me: Oh good. You're awake. Listen. We need to talk about something that's really bothering me since they gave me my number. I've been lying here stressing about it. I've played out in my mind.... the horrors of the end. And beyond all the really obvious emotional stuff that we talk about, there's another thing that's really stressing me out. I need to ask you do to something for me. It's so important that you must promise me you'll do it. 
When I die...

Him: Yeah?

Me: I'm worried I'll not really be dead and they'll bury me alive and I'll wake up in a coffin. Can you please promise me you'll double check that I'm dead?

Him: Of course Hun. I'll come back and stake you like a vampire. Night Night.

What a guy. ❤️

The prognosis gives me a number.
I imagine it like this....
That number is lying by the side of the road. I see myself in an open top car with my 3 boys around me travelling down that road, Ally is smiling down from the sky, and we go zooming passed that number. 
I stretch my fist firmly towards that number and confidently erect my middle finger.
The car keeps on driving, right off into the distance and disappears. 

I'm not kidding myself, but really, fearing something and fixating on it will not change the outcome. 
Exist in fear and sadness or live in strength and happiness. 
Either way, you end up the same. 
But you control your car.