It’s so hard to explain the day that was our Strip n Dip, it was one of the most magical days in my life and I am not alone in that sentiment. It was a gathering of truly wonderful women who bared all for Lily-Mae, Leah, cancer survivors, people who were lost to cancer and just as important themselves. Women after doing it were absolutely buzzing with the fact that they had done it and the fact that it was such a truly wonderful event of women coming together. The whole lot of us got on so well together it was a true credit to women!
The craic started the night before when people found out the venue and their pain in the beauticians around Ireland on previous days could be heard from waxing and pruning. Details were unveiled of the lovely beach in Wicklow Magheamore Beach kindly offered to us by the Land Owner and his wonderful security men and a special mention to Wayne who sorted us all out. We were missing two bras at the end of the day though…… Wayne???? Wayne had to man another aspect of the beach while we dipped he reckoned he had the best job in Ireland that day.
On the morning we travelled from Cork, Kildare, Laois, Dublin, Wicklow and Galway to join together and unite and do a Strip n Dip for Lily-Mae and Leah. People along with doing it for charity. had their own reasons, some were undergoing cancer treatment like myself, some have lost dear ones to cancer, some were there supporting me and some were only at the start of their cancer journey. When we all arrived at the car-park it was great fun with horns beeping, people waving and a few strange lingerie objects being waved out the windows. We all got acquainted and there really was a buzz, there was a bottle of whiskey going around and most of us had a little nip of it, some were popping champagne and one of two had hot chocolates.
After around 30 mins laughing and joking we made our way down to the beach to do our www.kickingtheshiteoutofcancer.com photo with the lovely Elaine from Elaine Laverty Photography. This sign was the most important for me as I want to get the message out about this blog to people who are going through it and people I feel it may help. Thanks Patrick and Shauna for doing the signs for us – very impressive There was a bit of mayhem down on the beach when we were all lining up I had given out letters to people the night before (in my secret post) but we all got a bit confused. By the time I got down there was none left for me, sorry can’t remember who I kicked out but I was definitely having a letter! Well there was whoops of laughter when we were trying to get into a semi-circle. We all lined up perfectly and then the chant Strip, Strip, Strip was heard so we all de-robed behind the signs and swear to God the laughter could have been heard on a beach in Wexford. Strange thing was it didn’t bother any of us. After the photos were taken some people started shouting lets picture it from behind, without any of us even thinking we put the signs behind our back with our bare arses showing and none of us gave a shit. It was liberating and powerful there was so many people so nervous about getting naked then all of a sudden people forgot! I can still remember the laughing.
Then literally in a flash (excuse the pun) Dymphna started shouting run, run, run, so all of a sudden we were running naked (in the rain) into the water. We reckon there was around 80 of us including my Mother who I was so proud of. That we screamed the beach down was an understatment we were hollering and shrieking like mad ones! Some stayed in quite a while. We ran back then and got our towels, well some of us did, it wasnt for modesty it was to get warm some people were just standing around naked and nobody even noticed. We were having a great ole laugh about it then more women went back in for a second time all of a sudden around another 10 joined them. Some went in for a third and fourth time. Magical is all I can stay.
We all hung around the beach and had a glass of champers or whatever was on offer and some others went up to the car park and had a chat and a hot drink. We then all made our way back got dressed (well I forgot to was still in my onesie) and headed up to McDaniels pub up the road for a few drinks and some hot food. Most of us went back which made it really special. Sinead Hamill did a great ditty on our day – my phone shut off at the last verse……
Around 25 of us headed back to Wicklow town as we were staying there for the night. We showered the sand from us, got ready and went downstairs and we had a drink in the bar before dinner the craic was mighty. Dinner also was mad as we were all on such a high and to there was a few strange objects flying around the place during dinner. I apologise to the person who got my boob in their Thai Chicken Curry. After that we adjourned to the disco in the bar of the hotel and danced our socks off and were all lit up with the glow necklaces Karen had bought. We brought a purple bucket with us (thanks Julieanne) and on the night raised €203 which was great. We went over to a pub across the road for more fun and frolics, then a late one in the hotel and a sing-song (as you do) and hit the hay around 4am! Not too shabby considering we had such a long day!
The main thing I really felt on the day was so humbled and so lucky. So many women came out to support me that day – there is no way they would have taken their kit off otherwise. My Family (My Mam, My Auntie Marie who also had breast cancer, my cousins, sister-in-law and cousin in law), my wonderful friends old and new, my cancer friends, people who have been following this blog who I have never met before – you are all just wonderful – thanks from the bottom of my heart.
We would like to thank all the Kilcock Dippers who joined us for their friend Sonya who is currently undergoing skin cancer for the second time and who was in hospital on the day. We were thinking of you Sonya and wish you the best xx
Our fund-raising for the event has been fantastic we are currently up to €18,000 from people’s very generous donations and we are of course still accepting donations at www.idonate.ie/kickingtheshiteoutofcancer we really want to get to the €20,000 so if you havent already donated and would like to…… we would gladly accept.
Must say took a couple of days to recover from the fun, frolics and highs of the weekend we regaled online the fun we had with each other and had a great laugh looking at all the photos.
The following Thursday I had my appointment in Vincents with my oncologist to discuss my medication moving forward. I will be on a drug called Tamoxifen for five years (maybe ten) this is to try to prevent the cancer from coming back. Loads of lovely side-effects with it which I am not looking forward to including hot flushes and night sweats…..mmmmm lovely….. also fatigue, Jaysus at this stage there is so much fatigue and lack of sleep I don’t think I could be possibly more fatigued.
Starting radio-therapy next week daily (apart from weekends) for six weeks. Side effects again are fatigue and possibly burning of the area that is being zapped. So there will be plenty of E45 cream on hand and hopefully the fatigue might throw a few ZZZZZZ’s my way. Having terrible problems sleeping and its all getting a little too much. I’m a pretty strong person but living on 3/4 hours sleep a day has to catch up with me at some stage. Going to doctors tomorrow to discuss what can help me sleep better. I did have some sleeping pills but they didn’t even make me sleep, so maybe I need stronger ones even for a couple of weeks to get my body ready for radio-therapy.
Had a brilliant night out at the Rod Stewart concert on Saturday with my sis what a laugh we had. Thanks a million Colly for the tickets.
So folks I’m getting there its a looooooong road still being travelled but bit by bit I am getting over stages. I am happy and healthy and I am so grateful for that!
Good things that happened recently
- We Stripped and Dipped
- Met some wonderful new friends
- People have been so generous with donations
- Had some good weather
- Learned some new dance floor moves
- Saw Rod in concert
- Alarm clock not set til 7.15am for a while
- Oncologist said I did really well with everything so far and that definitely my positive spirit really helped in the whole process
- I have my lovely friend Siobhan who will be looking after me in Lukes
- Met the lovely Emer and Niamh for lunch – great to see you girls