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. 


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Drain gain. What's Pain?

Well fuck me it's hot! The amount of sweaty crotches circumnavigating the UK right now aren't the only thing on the rise. As the temperature hits 33 (my age) and our eyes are awarded a Buffett of naked flesh ranging from rare to extremely over cooked, I have become aware that I can now say 'flipping heck my tit is sweaty'. Along with 'you are getting right on my tit'. 
Scouse and I were shopping a while back and we saw some 'Hooters' t.shirts and he remarked I should buy one and cross off the 's'. I think this is brilliant so if any of you make t.shirts....send me a 'Hooter' top.

Anyway, I now have one boob. I'm not guna lie, it's a bit weird. Especially when its a 36H. Can you imagine what that looks like in a top? I feel like I'm walking around leading with the boob, trying to even myself out a bit. 
The foam dome (fake stuffed booby thing) I've got isn't the same size as my real boob. This is because you'd need the entire contents of a sofa to stuff that bad boy. 
It kind of does the job for now, It's just my chest looks on the piss, squwhiff like. 

So how did this all happen then?

Well I've hoped the big slice and dice was coming for a long time... It's a positive to reach surgery my friends.
At Christmas it was looking like it wasn't going to happen. Voldertit was fiercely unbridled at that point. 
When you have a mastectomy for IBC (Inflammtory breast cancer) you need to be sure you won't leave anything behind on the chest. So there needs to be a gap (margin) between the good and the Badlands. 
At Christmas, there was no gap. 
The chemo and other drugs I have had this year, created that gap, allowing for the boob to be removed. 

So, I was given a date for surgery and then got myself prepared.
How did I do this? 
Well I wrote and rehearsed a speech for my cousins wedding (click here for the Bristolian version of Warren G Regulate) and delivered it 3 days before the chop. 
I also jumped out of a plane, took the kids on a tractor ride and attended a Fair-well party for the hunk of flesh that had been trying to kill me for a year.

How did I prepare mentally? Well I didn't need to. I'm all good with it. Do you know why? Because physical pain is just physical pain. It can be managed with a pill. There is no pill to deal with the pain I feel every day at the loss of Ally. If there was, I'd be gobbling them by the handful. 
I feel pretty equipped to deal with pain, losing a boob, looking different, because I don't care. Mentally, it's nothing comparatively for me.
I was emotional about my friends and family though. I cried about how brilliant they've been. I know they are going through hell with me, not just alongside me. 
That kind of shit really overwhelms me. 
Every time someone writes a message on my blog, i get a feeling of kindness and love. Those feelings are being sent from people I'm close with to people I will never know. Remarkable and hugely appreciated. 

Anyway, I'm waffling on....'get to the juicy bits' I hear you cry.

So I rocked up at 7am and was shipped into my little pre-op room. A lovely nurse went through the forms with me. I basically signed to say I'm all good with complete removal of my right breast, the tissue, the nipple, the skin and the lymph-nodes. The operation would take 2 hours and then I'd be 'out of it' for a while afterwards. The nurse then gave me a bag with these minging socks in that I needed to wear to prevent DVT. (Deep vein thrombosis) They were pre-sealed. I opened the pack to try them on and then became confused 'excuse me but I've got a problem....(as I waved Nora Battys footwear in the air).... Two legs, one sock'.... 
There was only one sock. 
Oh shit!!!! 
Have I just signed a form that said 'removal of right leg' not breast??? Oh no!!!
'Oh that's unusual. I'll go get another pack' says the nurse. I think 'welcome to Heidi land. Nothing usual happens around me.' Thankfully one becomes two and I'm able to live out my dream of becoming fashion forward.... 
It takes effort to look this good.

It's time to go. 
Scouse announces he's off for a bacon sandwich at Costa (looser, I'd have gone with Tiffin, yes even in the morning, don't you judge me) and I walk down to the theatre. 
I've always thought theatre was an odd name for a room of surgical shenanigans. I start picturing the nurses dressed as jesters and Elizabethan town folk, and the surgeon dressed up as a King shouting 'off with her breast' whilst weilding a sword above his head. Someone is playing a flute in the corner while others are drinking mead and eating chicken legs. 
But this was no Shakespearian tragedy.  
This was little old me. 
This was my drama. 

I lie on the bed and look up at the big silver circle thing that looks like a spaceship (I think it's a light). The anaesthetist is trying to get a Cannula into my ever-decreasing veins. Chemo has knackered them so they are flat. I stare up at the spaceship and think about the last time I was in a very similar position ....Ally's birth.
 I was very scared then. I didn't know what would happen when she was born, I hoped she would cry, she did, I hoped she would know me, she did, I hoped for her to have an amazing long life, she didn't. Things don't always go how they should. 
Was I scared now? No. Of course I hoped to wake up. I thought of my boys and I hoped to wake up. But I wasn't scared for the boob. It's just a boob. I said goodbye in my mind and i drifted off to sleep. 

Not unlike apparating in at Hogwarts, I went from one room with one set of people, to another room with another set of people. It's kind of cool. 
As I came around I used my left hand to feel across my chest, my eyes were firmly closed, and sure enough, where Mt Snowdon used to be, was now that famous square on the ordinance survey map of north Lincolsnshire....a whole lot of nothing. 

My right hand then reached out and found Scouse's. I knew it was his because all the fingernails had been bitten off. Not unlike a 13 year old dumped by her first boyfriend; Scouse eats his feelings. We've had a lot happen in the last 10 months ergo what were once fingers are now a palm surrounded by five stumps. 

I wake up fully and am instantly introduced to my two boob-juice collectors who I quickly name Drain and Drainetta Slob. Their jobs are to collect all the fluid around the surgery site. They are stitched into my side. I have a bag to carry them in when I'm mobile. What if shop security asks to look in the bag? They'd get a right shock! Actually that would be brilliant!!! (Must look dodgy at next trip to Primark.)
Lincolnshire 
Drain and Drainetta Slob.
Rocking my drains. 
I'm out of hospital the next day after a night of playing cards and eating pizza. When I get home the first thing Noah asks is to see my poorly boob. I show him and he says 'wow' and then goes back to picking his nose. (And wiping it in my mums couch) 
Tait comes up for a cuddle and then actually head butts me right in the shark bite. You couldn't make it up right. 

I spend the next few days chilling out and emptying Drainetta. (Drain was taken out before I left hospital) I notice that the contents goes from Strawberry Daiquiri to medium white wine. I'm sure it doesn't taste as good but I did enjoy looking at it though...I'm gross like that.
Drains poking out, me breathing in. Showing off my lovely drain bag.
It's the first time I've really stopped since all this started and I can confirm that time in my own head isn't the best. I'm defiantly a person that needs to be kept busy. I've felt petty sad over the last two weeks. I miss her. I'm angry she's not here. She would be 7 months old now. I can see how she would be, what she'd be wearing, what she'd be doing. Now that hurts. 

With the weather being the way it is, I have the window open at night and I can see the stars. I wonder, can they see me? 

The weather is cold. Then it is hot. Then it rains. Then there's a storm. Then there's a rainbow. How primitive. How raw. How symbolic.

Covet your heart...a tit is just a tit. 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Dear Boob

Dear Boob,

In a time of uncertainty with this  EU referendum Schizzle where we are now considering the possibility of CIF returning to JIF,  bananas going bendy again and wondering if we will now have to call 'Magic Stars'  'Supernatural Pentagrams', our future is somewhat unclear....what a shocker! An 'unclear future' is something we all face, everyday and will always face because no one has a crystal Ball. (Or Cubic zirconia sphere)

I tell you one thing that is certain Boob, tomorrow you are leaving me. 

I've known you since I was about 12. I remember being an 11 year old. I had a lot of puppy fat (my brother called it Great Dane fat as there was so much). I had a ginger Bob and shoulders about a hundred metres wide....I was pretty tall and yeah I basically looked like a prop on the English rugby team. 
So I remember asking for you. I wanted you to be large, you and your twin. I had great hopes for how you would turn things around for me in the looks department. 
Then you arrived and you were everything I hoped for. I went from butch school girl to Heidi with the big boobs. 
As the years progressed you got me into nightclubs, underage. You got me free drinks, 5th place in a wet t.shirt competition (I think there were 6 of us in the event) and basically gave me some well needed confidence. 



Later on down the line, you nourished my children, grew longer and sustained 5 months of being bitten repeatedly by Tait until I could only feed him from the other side. I somethings wonder if Taits biting was telling me something.... Was he warning me that all was not well with you? That you were ill? That something was attacking you from the inside. That Cancer was ravishing you. 
You began to change. 
You weren't that happy go lucky boob you'd been up until this point. You became red and angry. You grew and grew. You weren't lumpy which is why I never suspected anything sinister was happening. The Drs said you were fine when I took you to see them. So we carried on. Towards the end your nip started to retreat and your surface looked like an orange. I took your back to the Drs for the 3rd time and we discovered that in fact your were very poorly. I was told from the beginning that you would have to leave at some point. 
And that point is tomorrow.

So I'm left wondering what I should do on my last day with you. Let's be honest you haven't aged well so I'll not be showing you off to people. If a builder shouted to me "show me your tits" I'd literally just have to lift up the hem of my trousers. 
You are covered in stretch marks to the point that if I found myself lost in London I could consult you for a central line train to Walthamstow.
When I lie down, you gracefully slide under my armpit. 
So really today is just another day. I will take my children out to play and spend time with them. As always. 

I'm just wondering if I'll miss you? I think I'll miss the memories we made together but actually you serve no purpose anymore. I know that Scouse loves me with or without you. I know that my children won't even notice that you've gone and I know that you simply can't stay because you're killing me. 
I know it's not your fault. You didn't want this, but it's happened. 
There are many things in life that happen that we don't want, that we fear. Then they happen. 
What do you do? 
You have to deal with it because quite frankly what other option do you have? 
So I'm sorry but you have to go. 

My friends from school who have known you your whole life, threw you a going away party last night. We met at the curry house ( if you watch sons of anarchy this is akin to that table where they make all their important team decisions and discuss important issues) and they bought me this amazing blanket with loads of our pictures on it. 





I cried.


Then at the end of the meal, out comes one of the chaps singing happy birthday!!! 



Anna is shouting "no no it's not her birthday....it's for something else....um it's a cake for ummm she's ill and ummm it's not her birthday". 
I'm cracking up at this point as I'm thinking how do you sing 'goodbye right tit la la la you're being chopped off la la la' . 
The chap starts mumbling something about 'keeping it in the box as not to upset the other customers.' I'm wondering why on earth it would offend anyone, when two huge tits with candles in are plonked in front of me. 
The nipples are massive!!!! Gemma says 'oh look they're just like my nipples', to me they look like witches hats. It was brilliant! The girls are all laughing and so am I. We discuss what people might think about what we are celebrating and whether people would consider them terrible friends. On the contrary, they are incredible. 
This is exactly what I would want, and exactly how we all are. 
This is why they are my friends.
I then proceeded to cut up the right boob and dish it out to everyone. We all eat it, together, as a team. 

I've never felt alone at a point of this shit-uation and that is largely down to the friends and family I have. 
What a perfect way to say goodbye to you boob. 
And I actually think you appreciated it too. 



Tomorrow I will lie down and look to my right armpit and see you for the last time. Then I will go to sleep and when I wake up you'll be gone. Every part of you. And what will be left is a scar that is curved. The scar will look just like a smile, they said. 
Oh the irony. 
But when I look in the mirror and see that place you used to be, I will think of all the great things you did for me and I'll smile right back. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Guffalo

For my boys Noah and Tait for when they are older. And for Scouse.....don't you just love reading the same story over and over again until, in your warped adult mind, it can become something quite different......

Oh and if you would please come back at the end if you enjoyed it and vote for me to win best writer at the MAD Blog awards I'd be so greatful xx Vote here

The Guffalo


                                      A girl took a stroll through Chemo Wood
                                  Before all this bullshit she looked rather good





                                                                   She said to her hair

                                  "That's terribly kind of you Hair but.... oh




                                              "A Guaffalo, what's a Guaffalo?"

                                             "A Guffalo why didn't you know?"


                                                  "Where are you sitting now?"
         "Here by these drugs with my favourite cocktail from the Pharmacy thugs" 



                                                "Pharmacy thugs? I'm off" Hair said.
                                               "Goodbye Guffalo" and away Hair sped.

                                                   "Silly old Hair, doesn't he know?
                                   There's much tougher things when you have chemo"

                                       On went the Guffalo through the deep dark wood
                                    Some Tits saw the Guffalo, and she didn't  look good

                                       "What are you doing here you fat stinking hog?
                                         I heard you've got ass-wee? Go sit on the bog!"







                                           "A Guffalo, what's a Guffalo?"
                                         "A Guffalo why didn't you know?"

                                                   Her thrush is a killer,
                                                   her skin just a fright 
                               and the steroids keep her up all bloody night
                                                
                                                    "Why are you sitting here?"
           "The drugs are my boss and the 5th of July sees my tits get ripped off!" 



                                             "Tits get ripped off? It's time I hid!
                                             Goodbye Guffalo and away Tits slid"

    "Silly old Tits, don't they know? There's much tougher things then ops and chemo"

                                On went the Guffalo through the deep dark wood
                                A bum-hole saw the Guffalo, she didn't look good 




                                    "That's precisely it bumhole, I can't trust my hole 
                                       and this dam constipations like birthing a foal"

                                               "Birthing a foal? Not part of my plan!
                                               Goodbye Guffalo" and off bumhole ran

"Silly old bumhole, doesn't he know, there's much tougher things then bum probs and chemoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                    But who is this creature with the worlds biggest pile 
                                           and less teeth then a panel on Jeremy Kyle?                         
Her face is so puffy, her eyebrows did drop and her mouth is much dryer then            Ghandi's flip flop
Her farts are so powerful you don't whaft, you whack it and if you look closely she's spewed down her jacket...."



                                             Oh help! Oh no! It's a Guffalo!!!!!
  




                                         "Rank said the Guffalo. I'm just rank
                                  I've shit myself so much there's nowt in the tank.
                                        Just walk behind me and soon you'll see
                                                      Everyone is afraid of me.
                                       And now my bowels are starting to rumble 
                                    I shouldnt have eaten that dam apple crumble"








                                          No hair, no tits, her skin just a fright
                               And the roids made her figure a lads mag delight
                                    And she did all this bullshit with no moan or fuss
                                    Because you know what? She is dam fabulous 





   All was quiet in the deep dark wood
Guffalo farted.........and the fart was good. 



Roller coaster of love.

It's 6am and I'm wide awake and the kids are fast asleep. I've nothing but the curry farts from last night to keep me company as I sit here on a 'milestone day' thinking about what the hell has happened to me in the last 9 months. 

On Friday 11th September, a day we all remember the horrible atrocities that unfolded in New York in 2001, I got the news that I was carrying around a disease that could well kill me as quickly as a years time and my best shot at treatment was to terminate my unborn baby. 
I then went on to forgo the treatment so I could give my baby the best shot I could. 

Why did I do this? 

Because I loved that baby as much as my two boys. I couldn't separate the feelings I had for the boys  from the feelings I had for Chocolate Mousse  ( you'll maybe remember this is the nick name Noah gave my bump ) so I couldn't do it. I then entered my 'Roller-coaster life'. So within the time that followed....

I had a type of chemo safe for baby -up
the news we were expecting a girl -up
a realisation that chemo wasn't working - down 
an incredible prognosis of 95% for Chocolate Mousse at 28 weeks - up
a prognosis of death for me if I went on any longer - down
a decision to have baby at 28+1 with an assumption that with the balance of nature she would definitely be fine - half way up
the fear on the day she was born if I was doing the right thing - down
the elation that it was the right choice when she was born so strong and the immense love we have for her just pouring all over everything - up really high
the phone call we received to say she was not well - crashing down
the fear of what would happen to her - so down 
the news she would not recover - through the floor
the knowledge I had done the wrong thing - hell
the pain of watching her passing - beyond labels
the saying goodbye -  
the feeling I wanted to die and the guilt for feeling that way when I had my boys who needed me - down 
the absolute open-mouthed ''''''why????''''' that I asked myself every second - round the bend
the soul searching - flat
the being dragged out of bed to start the treatment Ally had been born early for me to have and the guilt I felt having that drug - down
the news that it would seem my cancer had spread to my lungs - down
the renewed feeling of needing to be here for Noah, Tait and Scouse - up
Ally's funeral and watching the man I love carry a coffin the size of a shoe box into Church - floor, core of the earth, Australia, then space
the start of a new year and watching everyone else move on around you - down
the treatment appearing to work - up
the news I could have a mastectomy - up 
a bucket list to compete with my kids - up
two prestigious award nominations for my blog - up (last day to vote here: WillyWeeHole
an increasing feeling that I will see Ally again one day - up
the immense kindness of strangers and the absolute love for my friends and family who have given me so much that I can't put into words how it makes me feel - up 
and today my last chemotherapy - up

What a fucking 9 months I've had. 

Today, Thursday's 26th May, I have my last chemotherapy. It's my last chemotherapy for now and hopefully forever. It's a milestone. One last time of crapping our everything I eat and yet not loosing weight. One last time of everything I eat tasting like soil and metal, one last time of having days where I feel I've been sat on by a bear. One last time. 

On Tuesday the 5th July I am having my boobs bambozzled. Their days are numbered or at least one of their days are numbered. 
How do I feel about this? Quite frankly I couldn't give a shit. Bye bye boobs!!! 

So I'm just about to head up to be hooked up to 'Calvin the Chemo Machine' and I might do one of those 'last chemo pictures' for you but can I just point out that no fucker has made me a poster!!!! So if anyone wants to make one for me feel free to post on the Facebook page and I'll tweet it. 

I'm also going to try and write another post today with a slightly more uplifting tone so you're not all crying into your morning coffee. Actually it's now afternoon because I was typing two posts at the same time and I'm sending them both to you today. So hopefully it's evening beer you're drinking. 

Thanks for sticking with me X 

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Reality Tits and Tumour Humour (the intro)

What is it like to have Cancer? 

We see all these adverts on the telly with people running across fields like warriors, 'kicking cancers ass',  rolling in the mud and screaming in rages. People sitting in chairs having chemo and how sad it is. Testimonials from all sorts of patients and their families about how Cancer has come along and 'opened-bowel' all over their lives. 
These days these adverts are actually showing us real people. Bravo. This is how it should be. 
In reality though, these adverts are what we Cancer-Land dwellers like to call 'pink and fluffy'. They are real and they are very sad and they are emotional BUT they don't go the whole hog. They are more like half hog. 
FYI Cancer-Land....like DisneyLand.....only more deaths. 

Have you noticed that our social acceptance of childbirth 'labour-offs' has blossomed 10 fold in the last few years. 
Once upon a time Arthur would stay downstairs while Dylis delivered the baby on an Eiderdown upstairs and once the child arrived and the scene from Kill Bill had been removed from the bedroom, tales would suggest that a stalk glided gently by and placed the bundle of joy lightly on the window ledge. Arthur would smoke a cigar and give his wife a firm handshake.
No mention would ever be given that Dylis shat herself inside out, was begging anyone that would listen to shoot her in the head and not only would she spend the next 4 weeks breaking into a cold sweat every time she needed a dump, she also had a fanny like a broken coconut. 

Nowadays we are more than happy to overshare..... we tune into One Born Every Minute and watch baby Addidas crown away, while a river of blood, shit and amniotic fluid runs passed his head. We are good with this. Afterall, it's beautiful. It's so natural. It's so positive.

50% Of the population are women....women give birth. It's something that so many of us have in common. Is this why we feel we can openly share these things in groups and on social media?

Mum: welcome to the world Troy. 10lb2oz and just gas and air. #windtunnel
Friend: sounds painful. What was it like?
Mum: like shitting a watermelon ☹ #fanhole (when your fancy rips into your bum and you end up with one hole - you heard it here first)

 I read somewhere recently that due to our lifestyle choices, 50% of the population will develop cancer at some point in their lives. 
So why don't we see more stuff on Facebook about the reality of Cancer? Pictures of operation scars, hair loss, weird piss, wonky finger nails with #choppeduptits sitting proudly next to it?
I wonder if maybe it's too sad, too shocking,  too negative

Maybe no one is ready to see it. 

I can't decide if this bothers me. It's been niggling at me a bit since I was on a social media group recently that  supported women with breast cancer but it stated that no mastectomy scars could be shown even via links on the page for fear of upsetting someone. Now I completely respect this as 'new joiners' may shit themselves when they see 'Frankenboobs' for the first time but it really highlighted to me that there must be so many of us that actually have no clue what lumpectomies and mastectomies look like. I didn't until I got Cancer. In fact I'd never thought about what hair loss really looked like, or all the other side effects of chemo, radiotherapy and surgery. And what do the emotional side effects look like? What is it really like to have Cancer?

You could well be reading this thinking why the hell do I need to see pictures of this? Well, you don't. You have free will. It's up to you.

Seeing pictures of the reality of cancer won't stop you getting cancer. 
But the reality is Cancer is very much a reality.
 Maybe by seeing things you'll get checked earlier, keep that appointment, investigate that rash!!! 
Maybe it won't do shit all for you, maybe it'll do everything for you. Who knows....what have you go to Lose? 

I'm going to show you some real women who are currently living amongst you now. They are your sisters, friends, neighbours, that bitch from down the road, your teacher, the woman who does your accounts. 
Let me tell you before you run for the hills that it's not all doom and gloom. These women will show you that through all the heart ache and pain (emotional and physical) there is also room for some laughs. This is because Humans are tougher then they appear and Cancer doesn't define you if you don't let it. 

So I said 'send me some pictures that tell me what chemo side effects are really like'

Readers.....I give you (and please click the next bit) ...... the reality of Cancer  (did you click?) 

Welcome to Cancer-Land.....I am Mickey Fucking Mouse 

Reality Tits and Tumour Humour (the pictures)

So here it is....a collection of real women, living the real life of cancer and they've been brave enough to let you see everything......

I am Vicki Coventry. I am real.

I'll get the hubby to take one tonight! Lol so much for a page 3 career ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜Š





I am Christina Bray. I am real.

Motherhood with chemo
Chemo like a boss.

I am Laura Gough. I am real. 

Lumpectomy and node clearance (lumpectomy failed to get all cancer so bilateral mx pics coming)
Bald patches and total hair loss (no minge pics though!!)

Admitted to hospital neutropenic just hours later ๐Ÿ™
Bi-lateral Mastectomy with pathetically tiny implants. Nipple removal.


Last one! Fake titties, no nippies! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ xxxx

I am Zoe Fidler. I am real.








I am Fiona Carr. I am real. 









Found the green foobies!!

I am Miranda Ashitey. I am real. 

As nosebleeds are an annoying side effect of chemo, you can take the mature approach or the immature approach. Guess which one I settled on…?
Having Zoladex injections cos my breast cancer is ER+ - not the massive prick I wanted to be poked with
Cat nurse. Looking back at this pic makes me realize how ill I really was. I didn't really let that sink in at the time. It's like looking at a different person, almost an outer body experience.

I am Michelle Johnson. I am real. 

My radio burns
Baldy and wiggy x

I am Melanie Johnston. I am real.

Melanie: Rats. I could have shown you my tuna encrusted portacath site but the dog ate it.
Heidi: I was a little sick in my mouth then!!! Awesome!!!!!!!!!! Xxx
Melanie: Heidi he didn't really eat it........I did.
I did actaully drop some uneaten tuna on my site, looked in the mirror about half an hour later. Freaked out thinking I had some grim growth. Nope. Just a blob of tuna in chilli sauce.

Portacath sans tuna.

I am Daniele Atkinson. I am real. 

Here's my baldy ones. I didn't take pics of anything else horrendous as didn't really want to remember it, but looking at these posts I feel bloody lucky.  I barely had rads burns despite being really fair skinned and my scar is really tidy (sorry!) X



I am Nicola Jane Halsall. I am real.

Nicola: I've got pics of blue & red wee. Blue boob from sentinel node biopsy & picc line in situ if they're any good to you?
Victoria: Blue and red wee??
Nicola: Red wee from chemo & blue wee from the sentinel node biopsy ๐Ÿ˜€
Victoria: Nice!!
Nicola: The joys of BC ๐Ÿ˜‚
Heidi: Yes please!!!!!!!!!!! Send me the wee!!!!!!!!!! Xxxxx

 Homer hair drawn by my daughter
The cocktail of anti nausea drugs
Picc line in situ
Blue boob from sentinel node biopsy


I am Rachel Ferry. I am real. 

Radiotherapy armpit x

I am Sammy Browning. I am real. 

Baldy MaGee

Fiona Carr - I actually thought the caption was baldy minge!!!!!! Was a little worried about scrolling down to the pic..... Lol

Sammy: Hahahahaha imagine! I know we're all very open but that's a step too far!!

I am Michelle Webb. I am real. 

Balding with coldcap
Chemo burns after my 1st Tax (chemo can escape cannulas and land on skin...this is what it does)
DIEP wound 6 days later
My left side DIEP wound
Road to recovery!

I am Marie Heyes. I am real. 

Hair falling out
Pink wee (

epirubicin)
Sammy browning:  Ah takes me back!
Marie: I know, fabulous times!
Sammy:( I had the dye injection too another time so had a full spectrum of wee colours...funnnn!

My dog ear has a nose full of seroma X


Christ, we've been through it and are still undergoing such huge trauma to our bodies. We are amazingly brave and strong and sometimes we cry and feel overwhelmed but we keep going. Always. Love to you all xxox

I was all gung-ho and healthy when I started on chemo. So I made these date and carob balls for healthy snacks. They tasted like poo rolled in coconut. I ordered a plate of hot toast & marmalade instead.
I am Kim Smith. I am real.





Heidi Loughlin: First wig fitting? I remember that moment. So fucking sad. Xx
Kim smith: Yes first wig fitting ! Most of my pictures show me laughing or messing about but my friend took this when I didn't know ....think my face says it all we all know it has to be done but the reality is like a freight train regardless of how we try to keep it bottled up and pretend it's ok

As I live in France my friends here and in the uk had a collection before chemo and they wrote me a lovely card and bought me a Jaccuzzi mat for the bath ....I think the photo hit me hard because with this card I felt for the first time the realisation of the cancer and forthcoming treatment and I realized I was truly loved and the impact it was having on my loved ones ....


I am Rachel Ferry. I am real. 

My back op
The scar on my back where cancer was cut from - 2 Tumours in a place "where cancer never goes to"
The Bruce Willis stage
Last Ever chemo / THE SECOND TIME! I've had 6 more since then and god knows how many more are still to come ๐Ÿ˜

I am Denise Taylor. I am real.

Fuck knows why I look so happy. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
Marie Keyes  - I love this, maybe the cold froze your smile but you look like a hot lady jockey xx

I am Ella Mason. I am real. 

Biopsy bruise
Failing DIEP flap

I am Alison Flouri. I am real. 

10 days post mastectomy with adm/temporary expander recon
Catheter bag, glam
More cannulas
Drains
New family pets - drain worms
Losing hair
Bleeding arm post picc line insertion
Fourth drain!!
Keyes: Raspberry J2O x
Alison: lol X 
Failed cold capping ๐Ÿ˜ข
Hair...clippered off
Double mastectomy scars, tissue expanders
Adio 'good' boob
A typical days medication

I am Caroline Issac. I am real. 

Hair which came out on 26th October. Note use of rubber duck for scale.


I am Alison Danes. I am real





I am Cimberlee Milam. I am real.  

No nipple! ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
I am Annemarie Cotton. I am real. 

Yucky paclitaxel (chemo) nails on the mend

I am Theresa Scollan Cowie. I am real. 

Someone said I looked like Frankenstein when they saw this, others said, oh at least yr getting a tummy tuck... no, this was done to reconstruct my new Foob....12her surgery, 5hrs drive from my home, 3 hrs in recovery then in high dependency...alas four days later I was back to theatre as it had failed and had it removed in another four hour surgery and replaced with an implant x

Allowed out of hospital after suffering sepsis n unable to have my last chemo, for my daughter's 10th birthday...friends pulled together to sort her party for me <3 x

Why paint a boiled egg at Easter when you can paint mum's bald bonce!!

I am Sam McBride. I am real. 

I am Charlotte Short. I am real.

I'm a bit late to the party but here's mine... Scare is the result of 4 operations and above is my sexy port.... (a port is a little tap under the skin you attach your chemo too)

I am Hayley Purnell. I am real. 

Hate mine , double mx with recon permanent expanders , still bruised after nearly 6 months . Shouldn't be so ungrateful I know but finding this hard to get used to x

From this
To this when told I needed chemo



Fun for son

So hard not to cry , but needed it to be fun for my son who has autism

I am Victoria Allan. I am real.

When your hubby has to shave your head for you


Cancer face and very sore eyes.
A few hours post surgery (Mx and immediate DIEP recon)
DIEP tummy wound/scar plus new belly button (much prefer the old one!)
Losing a toe nail!
Swollen tax feet.
My normal feet for comparison.
Swollen tax tongue
very sore tax eyes

I am Jennifer Morrison. I am real. 

Mx on right side with immediate recon and delayed recon ld flap x


I am Joanne Hunt. I am real. 

The day my hair grew back....and i could put a clip in it

I am Clare Percival Ducker. I Am real.  

Fun playing pin the nip on the tit
When people stare at your fluffy head whilst your shopping so you might as well give them something to stare at
Glow stick boobs


I am Kim Feast. I am real. 

Those cold caps were attractive weren't they Jen!

Last chemo!




I am Lisa Judge. I am real. 

Hospitalised because I had infections through pic line ended up rocking the golem look ha ha

I am Sarah Perry. I am real.

Me and Penny at chemo at Christies. This was my first round of 24 Kadcyla chemo. Penny came to hold my hand. Penny died a week or so after this.
Real breast cancer isn't pink and fluffy and not everyone gets better. Penny was my friend who also happened to get cancer. Indiscriminate fucking disease killed her not me. Whenever anyone tells me how BC doesn't kill I show them penny's smiling face and pictures of her two little boys.

I am Lorraine Sleator. I am real. 

That was the night of when I'd had my mx and reconstruction done ( that morning) and I was in Saint Thomas hospital.... Think I put that pic up on Ybcn to say all done and I'm ok.

I am Julie Strelley-Jones. I am real.

Brain blasting souvenir

I am Helen Weller. I Am real.

Surgery get up (hat because it was the first day of snow 2015)
eUGHHH.....losing nails...forgot this one!
 The damage.......

to stop my housemates stealing my milk..

I am Leonie Cox. I Am real.

A chance portrait someone drew of me at a Cancer support group. I had sickness and diarrhoea and she made me feel beautiful when all I felt was exhaustion and baldness.. She found something else and made me feel stronger

I was so embarrassed of showing my bald head in front of people in surgery I made the nurse get me a blue hat head cover the medical staff wear!

Bloated and Ill from chemo me refusing to miss my son playing penalties at Northampton Town Football Club with his club...  Harder than it looks!

Actually trying to look sexy in surgery stockings! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

It sounds silly but I have so much more time with my children now... Quality time, full of love and appreciation for life... I have this illness to thank for that.

My superhero brother who as part of his training for ironman cycles 50 a mile  round trip to see me and is raising money for charities that that have helped me. He gives me strength and says I give him strength.

These last 3 are my most poignant..
Running- this was the morning after dx when u really don't know what to do... I got up in desperation and ran Parkrun.. I had hardly eaten/ slept for a week waiting for my results. All the way round I shouted at myself "if you can't do this, you have no chance of fighting cancer" I was terrified I wouldn't get round.

Hilltop pic - the weekend before chemotherapy started. I climbed to the top of Thorpe Cloud and felt this was the first time I really felt alive with the reality of what was to come. I felt like I was saying goodbye to my old world and stepping into the unknown.

Hospital pic - this was day 1 chemo reality...
It was the day of my 40th birthday!! I tried to see it as a positive symbol and refused to be miserable. The balloon kept it light hearted and they do say 'life begins at 40'.

I am Sian Lisney. I am real.

Hi Heidi, no probs. To put it in a nut shell... I found a lump after my usual check I do every few weeks and was referred by the GP, I was diagnosed at age 30 with grade 2 invasive breast cancer. My wedding was planned abroad and has now been postponed by 8 months as chemo will take 5 months. I then have surgery and then radio following that. I was growing my hair for my wedding and it was at its best when it started falling out, but being a hairdresser, I know full well my hair will grow back and look lovely again. I was prepared for it to fall out and was happy to shave it once it started coming out thick and fast. I do miss my hair but really quite like it shaved. Husband to be shaved his too, which was great having his support. I didn't cry, myself and fiancรฉ laughed the whole time and I'll start a fresh when my hair starts growing back. In my eyes, the hair loss is the least of my problems. From experience with clients... It normally grows back thicker and better than before! 



I am Tracy Hendry. I am real. 

Hi Heidi...this was me embracing the head shave. Although I accepted I would lose my hair, I knew my family would find this hard more so my mum. She came along with me. It soon turned to hilarity when the mohickan appeared I looked like my brothers twin xx


My daughters baby bump....something that's seeing me through the chemo xx



I am Sarah Kennett. I am real.

Mouth Ulcers.

Sentinel node biopsy 

Hair falling out. 


I got the cat during chemo, she used to lie on my chest like that when I got back from the hospital. She doesn't do it anymore. I think animals know!
I've found a chemo one, makes me want to throw up!







I am Heidi Loughlin. I am real.

 Just call me Race Track Head. 
This is the reality of my kitchen.

This is me holding my daughter Ally the night before she died. I knew she was dying, I held her for hours. 

My family are all having tattoos of Ally's butterfly. This is my auntie Nadia's

This is the worst picture of me I have ever seen. Chemo puff, steroid cheeks and hair like the Wheetos man.....Noah couldn't give a shit what I look like. He says I'm beautiful.