Wahooo 100 naked women and €26,000 raised

I find it so hard to describe the feeling of us all doing the Strip and Dip even now writing this my eyes are getting moist.  It was a most magical day the laughter started at 1pm and didn’t finish til 3 am (lol for some of us!)   I have this absolutely immense pride for all the beautiful women that did the Dip.   For a lot of women it was their first time doing it and they were extremely nervous – afterwards first thing they all said – doing it again next year.

It was very liberating for everyone and a huge sense of WOMEN….. being part of the day the camaraderie was amazing.    We were effing amazing every single one of us and we all got on so well.

It started with whoops and hollers as people arrived at the beach car park manned again by the lovely Wayne who reckons he defo has the best job in Wicklow on that day.   More people arrived, bus taxis arrived, the bus from Cork arrived with the 13 Rebelettes to more whoops and hollers.  People getting out with mad wigs on, people with only one boob and amazing artwork all around their masectomy scar.  Champage, Toffee Brandy, Prosecco, Beer, Wine, Bacardi was all being taken to hoots of laughter and craic beforehand.  The Amazing photograph Barbra Hackett and her friend Emer were there to take all our photos which I hope you like below.

We Stripped and Dipped to mayhem of hollers, false starts, screams, singing, laughter, cursing and overall mayhem of 100 women getting naked and running into the freezing sea.  To be honest I don’t even remember the cold I was laughing so much.

Women got out hugging each other all immersed in the moment of being free and liberated and remember all those people who we so dearly lost through cancer.   We forgot we were naked that sounds mad but you really don’t give a shite!!!

More craic and to the pub for a few after the Dip and the wonderful Sinead Hamills Ditty on the DIp.   Take a look it is absolutely hilarious!

We ventured back to our accommodation and met up for a great Dinner in the Bridge Tavern around 55 of us.  Well we had the craic and the laugh.  We lost a few people en route :-) no names!!    There was a band on outdoors it was lashing rain we didn’t care we danced in the rain.  Loads of us then continued on (the lightweights went to bed).  Myself and my sis among the last of us…. couldn’t get into the Chipper so we fell into bed!

Great craic next day at brekkie reliving the day and night and some extremely green faces among us.     That was our Strip and Dip the memories made will last a lifetime.

We are still taking donations at www.idonate.ie/kickingtheshiteoutofcancer  The charity is the wonderful Aiobheanns Pink Tie who are a voluntary charity who help families and children going through cancer.

Here is a “taste” of the Day – dedicated to Barbara Ward and all the other people we were thinking of on the day Ger, Brendan, Gra, Mark and many many others.

This is a summary of some of the Dippers comments about the day……. I love them and I think you will really get a gist of how we were feeling.

Reenagh Maher – I did it for my beautiful neighbour. Dee and I would do it again in a heartbeat !!

Fidelma Murray-Hill - Personally I did it for all the women in this country as none of us know the hour or the day when breast cancer may strike I am now goin to Kick the shite out of cancer every year by taking part in Strip and Dip

Breda Hurley -  I did it for my family nd myself nd I would do it again xxx

Josey Foran Farrell - It’s the most liberating thing I’ve ever done and to know ur raising awareness for breast cancer at the same time there’s no feeling in this world like it x

Michelle Masterson – I did it as I had reached my 5th year cancer free & also for the legend that is Deirdre Featherstone an inspirational fellow member of the lump club. Amazing scary & emotional experience that will definitely be an annual event.

Emer Halpenny – I did it for my sister who has bravely battled breast cancer. I never expected to get the gift of knowing what truly matters. Try and stop me next year – and I hope to bring a few more with too!

Sinead Hamill – I did it because, like last year, it was a life affirming moment that brought a great group of women together for a great.cause

Marion Pyper – I did it for all us women and especially those of who have been there,,,,,next year can’t come fast enough

Claire O’Toole -  It was such a brillant day. Having lost a sister who died of cancer and to see women who have survived it and what they are going through are inspiration to everyone. Definately do it again next year.

Jacqueline O Driscoll – I did it for everyone who has been affected by cancer and thinking of the little kids who are going through it but still manage a smile x roll on next year

Eilish Carney Brady - I did it the first yr because Deirdre had been through a tough time with the cancer and still was thinking of others. . I was totally morto about doing it. . But it was a fantastically liberating experience and the atmosphere was amazing. .. hence I had no quibbles about doing it this yr. .

Jen O Driscoll – I did it for my mom and two aunts especially! Also for every family who has been touched by this horrible disease!! Really can’t wait for next year very liberating!!

Mina Kerr – I did because I lost my sister Ger and her husband Brendan to cancer and they were so young and I loved them so much. If Ger was alive she would have been first in the water and the last out! So I did it in their memory and ill do it next year and every year after that for them and for everyone we have lost to this despicable disease xxx

Helen O Shea - I did it for 2 of my closest friends ©who have had cancer and my wonderful dad(RIP Dad)who died of this disease. Will deffo be doing it next year. I had a blast.

Nichola Connolly – It’s such a moving liberating day… There really are no words to describe it, to do something so amazing and raise money for cancer at the same time is incredible… Where do I sign up for next year?

Patricia Lang - I did it for my darling mum – a lady i lost 2 years ago – she had ovarian cancer. But next year i will do it for the most inspiring bunch of women i have ever met in my life – Next year i will do it for the brave 2014 strip & dippers

Julieanne Odonovan - Did it to raise money for aoibheanns pink tie and to support dee and doing it again because its the most magical feeling to be surrounded by such love and support and non judgement. Not to mention the amazing after party;)

Afric Bolger - I did it to show my support for all the women who’ve suffered at the hands of the “BIG C” and in support of friends who have survived and in memory of those that didn’t. As a first timer this year I really did think it was going to be a nerve racking experience and I was so so wrong. It was the most liberating empowering thing I’ve done and I’ll be back next year to do it again.

Debbie Nolan - I did because my friend Dee had asked me to do it. My first reaction was no way! Dee said “if I can do it with one boob so can you” reality check! To see this amazing woman giving back to the children suffering from the same disease made me realise that life is to short. I did it last year and had no hesitation this year and just try hold me back next year. I met the most amazing women all there for their own reasons and made some great friends.

Maureen Connolly - Back in December my daughter Nichola Connolly was on her Christmas ngt out rang me and asked me would I do it with her , I said yes to get her of the phone .i was so glad to be part of the day ,well done to all the ladies and let’s kick the shite out of cancer x

Rionach De HOir Campbell - Saw it as a fun opportunity to celebrate life, raise funds and awareness for aoibheens pink tie. The day was a really fantastic experience and reminded me to live each day and to be thankful for so much. Met fabulous like minded women and celebrated everything life has to offer into the early hours!! Thanks for asking me to join the warriors dee. Xx

Karen Meagan - I did it because my mum & aunt and Dee battled and won the fight against breast cancer and I did it for the women who didnt pull through. Words don’t do justice to the emotions we felt on the day. Women encouraging, enabling & empowering. Thank you Dee

Patricia Demery - I did last year for the first time because I came across Dee’s story through a friend of mine and I was blown away by her strength and vitality, her complete lack of self pity and I did it this year again because I cant tell you empowering and up lifting it is, to get my middle aged butt out get over myself and do some good and meet such inspiring and genuine women , thank you Dee this is life enhancing to say the least xx

Siobhan Tinkler - I decided to participate because I wanted to join these inspirational women. Self consciousness wasn’t in the cards! It was a liberating and emotional experience. Thank you all. It wad a privilege.

 

Here are the photos hope you enjoy them

 

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Details of Strip and Dip 2014

Can you believe its the night before the big Dip? Oh what fun we are going to have ladies.

1″ish”PM START

The beach we are doing it at is called Magheramore Beach in between Wicklow Town and Brittas Bay Beach.

This is the same beach as we did it on last year :-)

It is a private beach and will be manned by two security guys and one security person at the top of the beach to block off intruders from any other beaches. Wayne will be the only man in the vicinity and has to be there to make sure other people don’t. The beach is approximately 8km from Wicklow Town heading towards Brittas Bay.

I think you will agree its a fabulous beach and is privately owned and can only be accessed by a small dirt track. The owner of the property has also kindly donated the services of three security people to make sure its just us.

Start Time

We are to meet at 1pm (between 1pm and 1.30) so we can have a bit of a giggle. When driving to destination (see map below) you will see a sign saying Nuns when you see this you got the right beach. You will see a barrier and two guys at the barrier then you are at the right place. If stuck for directions please call Mia on 087 9736243

Whats happening on the day

Meet at 1/130pm in the car-park. Come down in whatever clothes you want and we can get changed into whatever in the Car Park, people are wearing dressing gowns, dresses, big t-shirts, vajazzles whatever you feel comfortable in of course. A good few women are wearing fun hats and gimmicky thing so feel free to do (or not to do) whatever you want.
Gonna be cold ladies so make sure you bring a really warm dressing gown.

After a while and a few nips of whatever tickles your fancy. We will take a group photo for the blog www.kickingtheshiteoutofcancer.com and www.aoibheannspinktie.ie we will hold the signs up in front of our white bits so the rest can be just in the background – don’t worry NOTHING will be showing. Initials will be handed out by Jules, Mia and Helena.

After the photos we down the signs. There will be a countdown 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
and we leg it in! Go in as far as you want!!

Suggest maybe bring a bottle of bubbly (cheap or expensive) and a couple of plastic glasses to toast ourselves afterwards. Please Please make sure you bring plastic bags for your rubbish, this is a private beach and they have had issues before with illegal dumping. Recently people left it in a mess and they have cleaned all the litter away at a huge cost to the property owner. They have been so kind to let us use this property we have to make sure not a scrap is left behind – thanks Ladies.

After the Dip we are ALL going up to the Leitrim Lounge in Wicklow town. Here we hope to get as many people as possible including those that are not staying down we are hoping you will join us. Wayne our security man has kindly sorted food for us (and he has paid so kind) so there will be some hot platters going around and sambos. Sinead Hamill will be doing her Ditty about the Strip and Dip.

50 of us staying over in Wicklow Town and you all know where you are staying at that stage. We are having dinner at 8pm in the Bridge Tavern €19 for two course meal, if anyone wants to join us please let me know. Eileen is bringing a bucket with her so we will take this on our travels and try to raise some extra money.

Room List – Bridge Tavern

Ladies take note of your room numbers please :-)

27

Mary Cunningham Debbie Afric Bolger

30

Dee Featherstone Mia Featherstone

26

Breda Hurley Breda Hurley Breda Hurley

21

Breda Hurley Franics Martina

29

Breda Hurley Jacqeline Jenny O’Driscoll

23

Breda Hurley Marion Piper Daughter

22

Eileen Wall Helen O’Shea Lisa Monaghan

25

Alison Timmins Karen Cryan

24

Karen Meagen Dympna O’Carroll Rionach DeHoir

28

Julieanne O’Donavan Sorcha Murphy Helena Walby Eilish Carney

Donations

If you have cash donations please put it in an envelope with your name on it and give it to me After the Dip in the pub please. If your still collecting cash after tomorrow please lodge into your account and either donate it to your own idonate account or if you don’t have one lodge it to www.idonate.ie/kickingtheshiteoutofcancer

A Big Thanks to You

A huge thanks to all of you doing this. I know around half of you personally and for some of you I know it takes a lot of courage to do this. We are going to have a FABULOUS DAY

To the people I don’t know personally and I have met through the blogs, we have chatted in the middle of the night when we couldn’t sleep, spoke in chemo rooms and helped each other out when things seemed really dark. Women are amazing people with huge hearts and we are all there to help each other. A lot of you are travelling from Cork, Kildare, Laois, Dublin and more to do this.

Lastly this funding will make a huge difference to the children at Aoibheanns Pink Tie and their family and you have all gone above and beyond the call of duty with fund-raising.

As at 19.45 (Online Only) we have raised €17,000.00 – AMAZING

Map of the Beach

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Love this Song – Substitute I – for WE and this is WOMEN

 

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Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Hi folks can’t believe I have not written in so long over three months!   That is just not good enough is it?  There has been so much happening in the last few months every time I sat down to write something happened.  Well that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

The old saying “just when you thought it was safe to get out of the water” has a hint of truth in it for me.  Gladly I will say that at the moment I am absolutely flying it and I think my beautiful brain has finally started kicking back into gear and have a pep in my step and things are nearly getting back to normal (lol whats that?)

I have had a lot of medical problems over the last few months and have been in and out of hospitals for tests, scans, blood pressure monitoring, biopsies and reviews.   The local Doctor I am  sure is just totally sick of seeing me and have been there I would say over 12 times since January.

I will tell you whats been happening because it may be of interest to people going through it and if its TMI (To Much Information for you old codgers) just scroll down.

My rollercoaster of medical problems started with severe headaches, the really continuous ones that don’t go away and I had them constantly for two or three weeks.  I went to the doctors about them and they found my blood pressure was off the scale and was told that they would have to keep a close eye on it.   I got some medication for the headaches and they told me to come back in a week.  After a week it was no better so they decided to put me on a 24 hour blood pressure monitoring machine.  During this lovely 24 hours I got extremely ill as well with some sort of bug.  Needless to say the results reflected this.  However when the results were read they decided that I should go on blood pressure medication for a month to see how I got on.   I did what the doctor said of course and was down with one of the kids for something else and mentioned again to the doctor that the headaches hadn’t improved.  I was getting worried at this stage I think when you have been through cancer you get worried about abnormalities like that.  The Doctor decided to send me for an MRI just to make sure all was okay.  I was booked into Naas the next morning.

I rocked up to the hospital the next morning for the scan and was shown to a bed and told to make myself comfortable.  WTF?  I said to the nurse I am just going for a scan she said No, you are having a top to toe assessment here today and will be here till around 4pm, that was fine by me getting an MOT on my body is always a plus.   I got so many tests done I can hardly remember, bloods, CAT Scan, Chest X-ray, ECG Heart Assessment among other things.   While in the ward there was a lovely lady beside me in the next bed.  We got chatting and she was asking why I was in there etc.etc. I was telling her about coming through cancer etc.  She got out of her bed and down on her knees and held the cross around her neck in her hand and prayed for me for two minutes solid.    Wow what a lady we got chatting and she had lost a daughter the year before and a grand-daughter.   A wonderful lady she was and full of the joys of spring.  Dinner came around and I didn’t get any she insisted I had half of her chicken in gravy I said no its fine, but she insisted and was force-fed the chicken :-)

Thankfully after the Cat Scan the results came back and it was AOK - phew!!!!  I told the lady beside me who at this stage was lying back in her bed she said “come over here and give me a big hug” which of course I did, at this stage her daughter was with her and she said “come on I want one too”.    What lovely lovely people they were.   I so enjoy meeting people like that!

When I got my final once over with the doctor I mentioned that I had been in the doctors the previous week with a suspected UTI infection she checked the samples and confirmed yes indeed I had an infection and wrote out a prescription for more antibiotics.  Then I asked her to check something for me I had found a lump under my armpit of the boob that was taken away from me.   The doctor said that I really should go and get it checked out it was probably just fat left over from operation.   So I left with a bundle of prescriptions and knowing I had to get that checked out.  The thoughts of going through the whole process of biopsies etc.  yuck!

I talked with my wonderful plastic surgeon she said come in to me tomorrow and we will check it out for you.   When she checked she said that I should get it checked out too and she too thought it was fat but better to be on the safe side.  Back a few days later into the Mammogram area of Vincents and I had an ultrasound and they took a biopsy of it to send off to make sure it was nothing suspicious.  The doctor did look me in the eye and say “I am not concerned” that was enough to put my mind at ease.  The results were to take a week and to be honest I wasnt really worried (maybe a little the night before the results and on the way to the appointment).  I didn’t tell any of my family about this as whats the point of them worrying for a week its such a waste of time!  My friend Karen Meagan came with me for the appointments and we rocked in on that Friday and we got the great news nothing sinister ALL CLEAR!!!!   Must say I was relieved the thought of having to go through everything again was NOT in my plan of action.

That was my main medical things sorted.  I am on Tamoxifen at the moment (which is a drug that prevents the reoccurance of cancer) and will be for five years.   During this time it is unusual to get a period however of course I got one and the hospital wanted me to go and get it checked out.  I did last week and to be on the safe said they are calling me in for another operation and giving me a D and C and will do a biopsy lovely…. but the doc also said its purely precautionary so another thing not to worry about.  This will be my 6th general anesthetic in around 14 months.  They will know me in theatre at this stage and say Jaysus here’s your wan again!   Must be honest I was deflated coming out, yes its great I am getting looked after it…. but was just oh no not again!

I am amazed at the care I am receiving from the doctors and hospitals are leaving no stone unturned which is brilliant.

Are you still awake?

Okay so where am I now?  Well on Wednesday I go in for the second of my reconstruction operations (23rd April) and last year on the 22nd April I lost my boob.   Nearly a year on and still working away at things.  I go in at 7.30 am and they will try build my boob bigger to match my new perky one.   I will be getting my sister to come in and collected me after the operation and probably wheel me out in a wheelchair again when I am talking total crap as still zoned out on drugs.   Going to my folks for a little R and R after it.   After that operation the next operation will be them constructing a nipple for me.  Then the one after that will be a local where I get my nipple tatoo!!!

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?  It feels like I am nearly there but still a few more operations hanging over my head but that’s fine I can deal with that as long as I come out smiling the other end.

Well that’s my medical update :-) Now for the fun updates this blog is holding its second Strip and Dip on the 24th May and ladies reading here and who have followed this blog this is OUR event.  Everyone reading this blog has helped me along the way and has made the blog a success so if you would like to join us and give cancer a kick in the arse please join us.   https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/555730994533872/

This Strip and Dip is a salute to people who have lost their battle with cancer, a celebration of those who have battled with it and come out the other side, it’s a dash for womanhood and what lovely women we are and most importantly it is an event to raise money for families of children going through cancer.  This year we are dipping for Aoibheanns Pink Tie an absolutely wondering charity who are working to build an organisation to help and support Children and their families during their Childs battle to beat Cancer.  You can read about the wonderful work their charity does here http://www.aoibheannspinktie.ie/

So far this year we have over 100 dippers signed up and the ones who really didn’t want to do it and were “blackmailed” into it last year were the first to sign up.   We are fundraising online at www.idonate.ie/kickingtheshiteoutofcancer so if there was any chance you could throw in a couple of quid it would be greatly appreciated.  Or if you work in a place that maybe a sponsorship card could be placed at reception maybe you would consider downloading a Sponsorship Card and collecting a couple of quid.

There are over 50 of us staying in Wicklow Town that night – GOD HELP WICKLOW!!!!

Good things that Happened:-)

  • My blood pressure is now under control albeit have to be on tablets for rest of my life
  • Cat Scan was okay so brain doing good :-)
  • New lump was nothing sinister
  • It’s Good Friday and the sun is shining
  • I’m Healthy, Happy and Kicking
  • The hospital just rang and operation on Wednesday now 10.30 instead of 7.30!!!
  • Swam 7 lengths yesterday of a 50m pool doing the overarm and arm held out…. lol first time I had every swam that much… nothing to do with cancer :-)

Well “Thats All Folks” hope you all have a brilliant Easter and get laid loads…. I mean get loads of eggs ;-)

 

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Thanks 2013 We Kicked Cancer’s Arse

I have been sitting at home pondering over the year that I have had.  There was some terrible low points and some wonderful high points.   I’ll get rid of the low points first as the high points list is way longer.

Low Points

  • Chemotherapy – Eight sessions  (6 months)
  • 40/50 times been jabbed with needles for blood or drugs
  • 29 Hospital appointments
  • My right breast was taken from me
  • 5 Days in hospital post operation
  • Four times in surgery
  • Four general anesthetics
  • I was bald, I had no eyebrows or eyelashes either
  • I got kicked into menopause by chemo
  • 28 rounds of Radiotherapy
  • Some very painful pumping sessions for reconstruction
  • A five-day stint in Naas Hospital for a kidney infection
  • Double operation for reconstruction and boob reduction
  • Infection after operation so taking it handy again over Christmas

High Points

  • I was declared cancer free
  • I had the option to reconstruct my missing boob
  • I had a great party to celebrate finishing chemo
  • I was nominated for a make-over and spa break by my friend Emer and won!!
  • I helped in a great gig in Stillorgan in aid of Leah Little from Greystones
  • My cousin Kerri came to stay
  • I was declared cancer free
  • We did a Strip n Dip with so many great ladies and raised €21,000
  • I got to meet Princess Leah and Lily-Mae
  • I ditched my wig
  • My hair started growing back
  • My eyebrows starting growing back
  • My eyelashes starting growing back
  • I was declared cancer free
  • I met some amazing new friends on my cancer trail (my cancer chickkies)
  • I reconnected with some old friends who have come up trumps for me
  • All the cancer chickkies I met have come out the other side too
  • I got so many pressies, cards, flowers, masses said, angles, holy water, lasagnes and wine :-)
  • My friends cleaned my house and cooked me meals and kept me company
  • I went on holidays with my sister
  • Did a talk in IBM on my cancer journey
  • I was declared cancer free
  • Got a new boob (ongoing project)
  • Got my old boob lifted and reduced
  • Got liposuction
  • Spent some really great quality time with my folks after operation
  • I am alive and well have a brilliant family and friends
  • I was declared cancer free

Our Year in Images

 

 Happy New Year Everyone!

Posted in My Updates | 13 Comments

Happy Christmas from Dancer and Prancer

 

I really can’t thank you all enough for the support over the last year.  This photo is dedicated to anyone going through Breast Cancer and hopefully it will show them there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Happy Christmas to all and I will be in touch after Christmas.

Grab your loved ones and squeeze em tight :-)

Dee

xxx

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Dancer and Prancer are in place!! Ho Ho Ho

Nearly a week over my operation “and I’m feeling good da da da da da” Dancer and Prancer are in situ and getting ready to spread some cheer this Christmas :-)

Wow folks is all I can say, what a year this has been. This time last year I was sick to my gillsin the thralls of chemo and bald, today I am resting in my bed looking down at my cancer Christmas present, a boob lift, a boob implant and a bit of liposuction thrown in. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me feel to look down and not see a crater where my old boob used to be. Only 25% of women opt for reconstruction after Breast Cancer for me it was a decision I made the minute I realised I could get reconstructed. Now instead of looking in the mirror and seeing the devastating visual effect (and reminder) of having had a mastectomy, I see a (nearly) beautiful pert pair of boobs and say FUCK YOU cancer you big ugly sneaky bastard!!!

As you can probably tell I am in great spirits at the moment and looking forward to sharing the details of my operation with you. I am still recovering, battered, black and blue, little sore but my mindset is brilliant! Well….. long long time ago…. I can still remember how that music used to make me smile…… sorry getting side tracked.

The night before the operation I stayed with my wonderful folks in Kilmacud as it would be handier to get to hospital in the morning as they are only ten minutes away. Went to bed at a reasonable hour and think I actually slept okay. Got up 6.30 showered playing special attention to Floppy Fiona last time to wash a really big boob ;-) No brekkie for me was fasting my Dad drove me in and I arrived on time and reported to St Marks Day Ward. I had been a bit anxious for a few days before the operation but the day of the operation I was in great form and ready to take this great step. Bring on the Dancers I said!!

I settled in nicely to my blue guna and had a wonderful Irish nurse looking after me she made me feel totally loved and relaxed. I had a visit from a doctor working with my plastic surgeon and she asked me how big I would like my boob to be, I said “as big as you can make it”. I said j”ust please don’t make it really small” as feel I would lose my whole identity after having big boobs for so long. Then my plastic surgeon came along and warned her team that I write a blog :-) We briefly discussed the operation which consists of a boob reduction and lift (Mastopexy), an implant exchange (exchanging my tissue expander for an implant on the new boob) and liposuction (the fat would be used in my new boob around the implant). I was hoping the person doing the liposuction would be using a Dyson :-)

There was a few jobs ahead of me so I waited around for around two hours, mine was quite major surgery I was told so was scheduled later in the morning. I got wheeled down to pre-theatre area and met the wonderful staff down there. Met my anesthetist a lovely man and met my fab doctor again who kindly drew lovely markings on my boobs for the operating table. I felt so happy and safe (getting teary eyed here) leaving my boobs in the hands of this lovely lady. I must say the nicest doctor I have come across, no airs and graces, great sense of humour and a woman who inspires me. Anyhow moving on got into the room outside theatre for the drugs. Unfortunately as always problem getting a vein told the person (not sure if doc or nurse dealing with me) don’t bother with one part of my arm, he gave me the knowing look as if to say “hey I know my job, or hey I can get a vein no problem” well he didn’t and it really fecking hurt as always. I will never ever, ever, ever let anyone again try to get a vein from that part of my arm. In the end I got gas and maybe when they knocked me out they got a vein. I remember breathing the gas in, then him saying it will start to smell funny (which it did) and then nothing else….. (thanks be to Jaysus)

I woke up around three hours later in recovery ward with a lovely nurse looking after me, she was helping with the pain I was totally out of it. I remember her saying on the scale of 1 to 10 how is the pain “maybe an 8 I said”, then more drugs hows the pain now “maybe a 7 I said” I got down to a six…. Even though I was really out of it and talking shite I remember there was a man beside me, would say around 40 or 50, he was moaning with the pain “oooh ahhhhh nurse” the nurse was doing the same thing with him giving him more pain relief and asking him how it was on a scale of 1-10, between the moaning and groaning he managed to say “still a 10″ this happened three times, on the third time I couldn’t help it I think I laughed out loud the nurse just sort of looked at me. Not sure what he was in for probably an ingrown toe-nail or something :-) I found it highly amusing anyhow :-)

Back to Marks Ward still fairly out of it. I was in as a day case but in my own head I had sort of planned that there was no fecking way I was leaving within a day. However speaking with the nurse that morning I sort of realised that I was going home whether I liked it or not, it made sense in one way as she explained I could end up on a ward with really sick people and get infected etc.etc. I think it’s a bit of both with the health system its 50% to get you in and out in a day turnaround and 50% to make sure you don’t get infections. Another lovely nurse looking after me she was asking are you ready for some tea and toast I’d say “Oh yeah” then conked out again, finally I woke up long enough to handle tea and toast.

My plastic surgeon came to visit and I showed her what I was looking like she seemed happy, was hard for me to really see with bandages but I did notice new one way smaller than the old one. I was informed that I would have to have another operation probably in February (would have had to have one for nipple anyhow), in this operation I will have a little more liposuction (just fine by me) and more fat will be injected into new boob to even them out and I will also have nipple construction – I was happy enough with all that and she seemed happy with her handiwork….. yay I have a cleavage again :-) I spent years hiding the fact that I had cleavage funny that!

My sis came in around 5 to collect me/bring me home to the folks, however at that stage there was no way I could go anywhere. Still fairly out of it and on IV for pain and oxygen too (it’s all a bit of a blur) think she got a bit of a shock when she saw me. Anyway I perked up when I saw her and starting talking gibberish and I think I kept her entertained. I was dying for a cappuccino or Coke Mia went and got both for me. Nurse came down and said would be the worst thing in the world at the moment and that the anesthetic hadn’t worn off properly. We donated the coffee to the nurse (she had a great sense of humour and we had a good laugh) and Mia had the coke. Hour or so later another nurse came along a lovely Filipino nurse and took control, she was joking saying I was the last left on the ward :-) we made a couple of attempts of me getting out of the bed without success as I nearly fainted, then finally she linked my arm and I made it to the bathroom. OMG have never seen myself so white before it was really scary like the blood had literally gone from my head. I lay back on the back she opened the window for me to cool me down, finally we reckoned we were ready (this was around 7.30pm) after a photo for the blog of me in the wheelchair I was wheeled down to the entrance and Mia picked me up.

Back to my folks for some potato waffles (and an egg I think) and a cup of coffee which I was gasping for. We had decided that it was best for me to hang on in my folks for a day or two to help me recover as at home no matter how good your kids are you just don’t get enough peace and quiet. Jonas was able to work from home so he took control of the nuthouse for a few days and did quite a good job I must say :-) Big thanks to Jonas’ workplace also who have been extremely considerate to our family situation and have helped us cope.

Lovely Bouquet of Flowers thanks Maureen

Well life back with Mam and Dad was just wonderful. First night they gave me their bed downstairs (as close to loo), I had lavender sprayed all over my pillow to help me sleep, new PJ’s, a hot water bottle in my bed, a bedside lamp was to be left on all night to make sure I didn’t fall if needed to go to the loo, bottle of water and painkillers. I got totally and utterly spoiled rotten and ended up staying til Saturday evening as my Dad said Three Nights B&B in St Patrick’s Ward :-) In those first few days I have to admit I was extremely sore and could literally hardly move I would have to call to my folks to get them to help me out of the bed. I was totally exhausted and still quite weak from the operation. I stayed in bed a lot and listened to the radio (something I never do and must say really enjoyed it), I got fed, we chatted, watched TV and generally really enjoyed each others company. On the Friday I said to my Mam maybe we could go to Stillorgan Shopping Centre in the morning just for a coffee to get out of the house for a while, she was all on for it. That night I had a really bad night, was quite sore and literally never slept a wink I was up at 6.30am getting breakfast. I was starting to feel a bit sorry for myself and getting a bit emotional I said to my Dad don’t think I am up to going out for that coffee he said of course do what you feel. However something inside me told me to get up off my sorry arse and get it in gear, I got up, got showered and dressed and said right let’s have that coffee. Was the best thing I did as it kick started I think for me the whole healing process. We went out for a couple of hours (little bit of shopping to thanks Mam!) and had a really lovely time. I felt this trip was the turning point in my recovery. I got picked up later on that evening and went home to a fab clean house, Christmas tree and decorations up – thanks guys :-)

God I ramble……. anyhow I am now nearly a week over my operation and I really feel I am on the road to recovery. I hope I am not tempting fate but I feel I am over the worst of it now and it really wasn’t as bad as I expected. I have been very lucky my sister-in-law Mairead who is a nurse just lives down the road and she had been great to me and has changed my dressings twice for me. I am delighted with the results so far Floppy Fiona (Dancer) is now as pert as anything and the size was better than I expected still a nice handful :-) Cancerouse Chloe (Prancer) is getting there still needs some more work but she is up there with Prancer.

As always the support I have is amazing and it keeps me going so take a bow all you lovely people reading this. I can’t imagine this time last year I was so sick, bald and slap bang in the middle of chemo, one year later and I am in great spirits and have come so far. As I mentioned before, usually reconstruction is not recommended for a year after radiotherapy however me being pig headed (and not one to wait on things), I took my chances (and there was a 35% it may fail) and went for immediate reconstruction which is not the norm. The tissue expansion (blow jobs) were really really uncomfortable and painful this was due to my radiotherapy. However now I look down at my new boobies and the memory of that pain is fast disappearing and I reached my Goal…..

New Boobies for Christmas

Good things that happened to me

  • Maggie got her poem about me publish in Irish Parent Magazine – so proud!
  • Floppy Fiona is no longer Floppy
  • Cancerous Chloe is gone and replaced with new boob
  • My big operation is over and I am on the path to recovery
  • I got the best TLC possible from my folks
  • All Christmas shopping done (before op) as cant drive for a while
  • My ole love handles are looking a lot less like handles
  • Lovely visit from cousin Terry thanks for lovely flowers
  • Great to see Emer and Grainne while in Rathmore
  • My hair is growing fast alebit upwards
  • Its nearly Christmas I am alive and in a good place and cant wait to spend Christmas with my family and friends

I’ll be back in touch before Christmas until then my friends enjoy the preparations.

Dee xx

Posted in My Updates | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

Oh Man I’m Pumped

Dancer got her last “blow job” as my Mother calls them (in innocence I might add) in Vincent’s last Thursday and I was so glad it was the last one.  Felt like another stage of this cancer gig was over for me.  I put everything in stages helps me get through things, should have been a coach driver :-)

  1. Diagnosis – Done
  2. Scans, Tests and Lymph Node Operation – Done
  3. Chemo – Done
  4. Mastectomy – Done
  5. Radiation – Done
  6. Reconstruction - Nearly Done :-)

The reconstruction stage I have to admit was very hard for me.  The first four “pumps” were fine (for those joining the blog a pump is when I get saline pumped into my new chest to expand the skin to allow for implant) and no bother at all.  After the fifth pump I have to say it was the most painful of all times during this cancer gig.   I left the hospital to drive home I could hardly move the steering wheel, then of course I had no petrol had to stop took me ages to get out of the car.  I managed to make it home and flopped on couch and couldn’t move and was really painful to walk.  The pain was like a piercing pain in my chest, it’s the first time I can say I cried from pain, the pain went all through my chest, my back and down my arms.  It took me nearly a week to feel normal again.  Thankfully a friend of mine Michelle went through the same process and she told me that one of her pumps were like this as well so then I wasn’t as worried.  I called the hospital and they said I could come back in and get some saline taken out, but to me that was going in reverse and decided to put up with the pain.  (a bit like Man Flu I persevered without complaint) What goes out has to go back in again :-)

My Plastic surgeon is a wonderful, wonderful lady and she reads my blog so I am going to be extra nice to her and hopefully she will take an extra bit of fat from my tummy when I am under the knife :-)    It was explained that as I had radiation this is one of the causes that it is painful for me as my “new” chest is so high up (honestly any closer to me ear I would be wearing it as an earring).  My Doctor also said I could get saline taken out but I didn’t want that.  We decided the next two pumps we would go in half measures and only 30ml at each time.  The next two were still very uncomfortable but nothing like the pain of the other one.  So now its finished and I have roughly 400ml of saline in my right chest this is enough (hopefully) to have expanded my skin enough to put in the implant.  We are going for a C Cup (a little smaller than what I was :-) ) so that’s why I persevered with the pumps as in my mind if I went back in and got saline taken out that would make my boob a little bit smaller.  Remember I am no medic I am sure what I thought was a load of crap but that’s how I figured it out.

My Plastic Surgeon described how in surgery they will take my “tissue expander” out and replace it with an implant.   To fill out the boob and get it as “natural” looking as possible they will be needing some “polyfilla” to shape it.  This is taken by liposuction from fat in my tummy and there is plenty there.  I said please feel free to hoover out as much as you can, she laughed saying that wasn’t the first time she had heard that.  Then Floppy Fiona will be reduced and “hoisted up” to meet my new boob.   So I suppose my boobs will be where they were when I started getting boobs over 30 years ago.  Isn’t science amazing!

I went to a conference recently on Plastic Surgery for breast reconstruction and it was really interesting to hear.  Speaking there was Dr Catriona Lawlor and Dr Morrison from  St Vincent’s who informed of all the options there are.   One thing to remember for any of you ladies that unfortunately might be starting your breast cancer journey, is that reconstruction is there for EVERYONE even if you lost a boob 10/15 years ago the option is still there for you.  Plastic surgery is covered under the public health system (yes the one where we pay a fortune in taxes to uphold).  If you would like to find out more information in relation to options for breast reconstruction you may like to read this document

What does a new boob mean to me?   I never for a nano second thought of not having reconstruction surgery, its important to me as a woman, as a mother and to forget cancer in the future by being reminded of a big hollow crater in my chest when I look in the mirror. Only 20% of women opt for reconstruction and maybe the figure is so low as women don’t know their options.  Therefore if going through this get in touch with your Breast Cancer nurses and talk to them about your options.  Some ladies don’t feel like going through getting it done and of course that is their decision, I feel I have a lot of living left to do and I want to do that with two boobs.

I just want to let people know that the way I opted for my reconstruction was my doing, I was informed that because I had radiation that usually they do not start this process till around 6 months after so your body has time to heal.  Of course I was having none of it saying I would take my chances and I was very pig-headed, determined and stubborn as I wanted a new Boob as soon as possible.  So for any of your ladies going down the tissue expander route that did not have radiation, having pump ups is not painful to most people,  I know at least four of my new cancer chickie friends who have had it done without any problem whatsoever.    Hindsight…….. ah wish I could bottle it and sell it for Christmas would make a fortune, in hindsight I should have let my body recover from radiation and then start the reconstruction process.  However on the other hand the rough time is over now and hopefully will have my new boobies for Christmas.

It’s quite uncomfortable to wear a bra at the moment so usually take it off when at home, I was doing up the tie of my six-year-old Beca on the way to school the other day and only had on a small t-shirt.    “Mammy” she said “Oh My God you have one boob way down there and one boob way up there” – couldn’t have said it better myself.   I told her by the time Santy comes hopefully they will be in the middle :-)

So I am ready and cant wait to get on that surgeons table in two weeks, six days time (not that I am counting).  I would say I will be pretty tender after the operation and will have to take it easy for a week or two so better get ahead with my Crimbo shopping.   So friends the gates are open again to drop in lovely food and wine to me.  Also feel free to drop in some new bras.   A friend of mine Kerensa has this cool thing in her garden like a whole line of bras, anytime she has a party friends leave their bras and she knots them all together like a tent – so reckon I must pop down and donate mine.

On another note I was asked by IBM recently to do a talk to their staff on Breast Cancer which I gladly accepted.   I went there on Tuesday and did two sessions with staff where I had to talk for 45 mins, firstly I was thinking Jesus that’s a hell of a long time but had to rush the end of if as could have talked for at least another 30 minutes or so.  I really enjoyed doing the talk and telling my story and I think they enjoyed it too.  From the law of averages around 4-6 women from that group will unfortunately develop breast cancer so I am hoping my early detection part of the talk goes heeded and the ladies will go and get their breast checked by their doctor.

Okay now I want something from all of you.  Can you do me a favour, a promise you are making to me (only between the two of us :-) ), next time you are down in the doctors ask him/her to check your breast, you pay €60 a visit so you might as well get it done.  I had a “dawning” the other morning, something that never entered my mind before (or maybe I didn’t want my mind to think about it), but if I am being totally honest with myself if I had gone to the doctor sooner I may have saved my breast or at least the cancer would not have started to travel.    I don’t want to hear anyone ever ever saying to me “oh I know I should” or “I must do” – ladies I want a NIKE – Just Do It.   I was one of those people thinking I should do it, should get the lump checked but was too busy and thousand other pathetic excuses.

JESUS CHRIST FOLKS IT NEARLY FUCKING KILLED ME!!

 

"I promise you Dee next time in Doctors I will get my Breast checked"

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I promise Dee I will ask all females in my life to get checked when next in Doctors"

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I will be setting up a Boob Check monitor in the next couple of weeks, I know a lot of you have got checked recently and hopefully more of you will.  Could you PM me on Facebook and let me know if you have so I can count you on my Boob Counter.   I’m on a mission folks to try to make sure as few of you as possible have to go through the trauma and pain of what I have done over the last year. Ranting over….. I am not on a crusade I just love you all :-)

My daughter Maggie (10) got the Best Poem of the Week by her teacher and the teacher read it out to the class.  Very proud of her and it will be published in Irish Parent Magazine along with her photo – she is chuffed!!!

MY MAMMY

Cancer kicker
Life saver
Homework helper
Calculator
House cleaner
Jewellery maker
Text sender
Food maker
Computer expert
Cake maker
Hair tie er
Hard driver
TV lover
Fire lover
Lace tie er

Good things that have happened recently

  • My lovely nephew Paddy got christened – lovely day
  • My chemo buddy Mary from Bray finished all treatment and got the all clear
  • My friend Marie finished Radiation – big whoop!
  • My sister got her second mammogram since I have been diagnosed and was all clear
  • I got six monthly breast check up at hospital and they were happy all is well
  • My friend Karen is back up on her feet after long illness :-)
  • Had a lovely visit from friends in Sweden (Mike, Birgitta and Victoria) lovely weekend

Sad News

A lovely old friend of mine passed away this week from bastard cancer.  Bren was such a character, full of craic and cheer and left us too early.   This is for you Bren :-)

Posted in My Updates | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

New Boobies for Crimbo

Its been a while since I last wrote plenty of things happening never a dull moment as they say.   Well lets talk about my boobs for a change :-)    As I was saying in previous posts I am currently getting “pumped” (injected with Saline) on my right boob to expand it enough to put in the implant.   This process is “a little uncomfortable” I mean whats comfortable about someone injecting a big huge fecking syringe into your chest I try not to look at it, but its hard not to its so bloody big.

Around three weeks ago I had a pump and it was my Mam’s birthday but due to car troubles had to bus it into hospital so couldn’t pop up to say Happy Birthday to her. Instead Dad and herself came down to meet me after my pump.   We were sitting having a coffee and ’ phone rang it was my brother Colly wishing her Happy Birthday she was saying (loudly) “we are in Vincent’s with Dee she just got a blow job” well I nearly spat my coffee out and my Father didn’t know where to look,  I was like “Mam think you got that one wrong” she was in knots laughing and I could hear my brother laughing too!!  Got a few odd stares from people in the café as we were laughing so much. Was a classic as someone said I must have the top-level VHI to be getting blow jobs in Vinnies!

That day while getting a “blow job” I was asking the doctor when I would be getting the implant she was really blasé and I thought condescending she was saying it will take a few more pumps and what was my hurry?  Easy for her to say what was my effing hurry it’s not her walking around the place with only one…… didn’t care for her much I must say.   In came my “real” doctor and the original doctor sort of laughed and said “Deirdre was wondering if she could have her new boob by Christmas” (very sarcastically I must say) my Doc said I don’t think that would be a problem let me check the schedule.   Wahoooooo she said no problem we will schedule you in for early December.   I was chuffed with myself and I must admit a big smug with the first doctor ….. ha ha ha told you so, told you so, nah nah nah nah nah nah, take that!!   I then asked what would be the schedule of getting Floppy Fiona reduced to match up with the new one,  how much longer would that be after Crimbo?  The most beautiful words then came out of her mouth I will do the two of them on the same day for you.    I nearly hugged her I was fecking thrilled I thought the whole process was going to take at least another three to four months.   So looks like I will be getting a new pair for Christmas :-)    Dancer and Prancer were names suggested.

So 11th December is the big day for the girls, one getting an implant and the other reduced and lifted to match the new one.   So far in this I have been really lucky as there is a high failure rate but I’m not going to think about that and my Doc said as well (she is very like me) let’s go with the flow and I am sure everything will be grand.    Will be a few weeks recovering as can imagine will be quite sore after, so better get shopping early this year.

Week after that was feeling extremely sick, like a really bad bug with severe tummy pains, made my way to the docs and she said I was so dehydrated that she didn’t know how I was actually sitting talk to her.   I had to go to hospital straight away, Jonas  came home from work and brought me in.   On the trolley in Naas A&E (where I was just over 12 months ago) they took blood samples etc. couple of hours later an Indian doctor informed me I had a “very serious UTI (urinary tract infection)” and I needed to go on IV drugs to try control it.   I was quite happy that was all it was, I wouldn’t be normal if there wasn’t a niggling doubt that this might be cancer related, even though I didn’t think so but the fear is always there.  Oh Yeehaa another shagging stay in hospital I said “will I be here for a while” he said “oh yes at least a few days…….” Was lucky I got off the trolley around 10pm that night to a hospital ward in the “old” hospital (which used to be a workhouse) and I swear was like moving back in time it was so old, anyway wasn’t complaining I had a bed.  Kept expecting Nurse Ratched to come over with my meds.   I got a bed in a mixed ward :-(    Didn’t sleep a wink that night I had a snoring and coughing chorus, snore, snore, snore, cough, cough, snore, snore, snore cough cough.     I had visions of being stuck on that trolley for a few days there was some serious “heads” there.  There were two girls and every time they passed me on the trolley they were muttering “for fucks sake” and trying to entice me to talk and bitch about the place which I had no intention of.  I was the last trolley before the door so I got loads of pitying looks and comments, take care of yourself, fair play to you, best of luck etc.etc. was quite amusing.  I was in a rush to get into hospital and couldn’t find proper shoes so went in with really high ankle boots the nurse said to me after a while “emmmm I think you can take your boots of now”.

Ended up in a three bed ward with two other ladies and we had some good laughs together, you get very close to people in hospital and we shared life secrets into the early hours of the morning.    Not sure what hospital does to you but some of these ladies told me stuff and they said Jesus never told that to anyone before.  We used to have our viewing schedule ready and bought goodies for watching the XFactor or whatever was on.   Lovely, lovely ladies and the staff in the hospital were brilliant the food was actually excellent and we got well looked after.

Ended up in hospital for five days, was on IV antibiotics all the time and had to get my bloods done every day.  Getting my bloods done was a nightmare, due to the mastectomy and the lymph node removal on my right arm they can’t take blood from there,  all the veins in my left arm are shot from chemo.   Nearly cried every time I saw them, in the end I said Jesus can you not get blood from some other part of my body.  In the end I ended up with the line and port in my foot.  It could have been stuck up my arse at that stage I didn’t care as long as they didn’t keep trying veins that were broken!   Wasn’t the easiest place to have a line put in was like hop a long Cassidy.

Since then I have been taking it really handy, the infection took a lot out of me and to say I was tired was an understatement.  Literally every time I sat down I fell asleep I am really only coming around now and getting a tiny bit of energy back.   I feel really in limbo with myself at the moment I think it’s all my body has gone through and maybe this is the “calm after the storm” instead of vice-versa.  One minute I can be high as a kite and a few hours later can be really down in myself  and to be honest its driving me mad.

I have been told by a few of my new cancer buddies that this is quite normal you are go, go, go all the time and then you get a break and you feel a little low.   I am so unmotivated its unreal and concentration levels are zero maybe its just my body reacting to all the chemicals and shit that have been put through my system.   I don’t like myself this way but am giving myself til after the operation to totally kick my ass back in gear.   Very strange for a women like me to actually laze around the place its a new thing to me and even when lazing I am thinking should be doing this, that and the other and then nahhhh can do it tomorrow!!  I miss being out in the workplace, sharing ideas, wheeling and dealing with people.  I really love my kids and am enjoying spending so much time with them but I wasn’t cut out to be a full-time stay at home worker.  I have to remember though as well am still on daily medication and they are hormone tables so my body is being run by drugs so I suppose there are bound to be some mood effects with that.  Only another four years and 10 months to go  :-)

Have had one more blow job in Vinnies and due another (my second last one) next Thursday then that’s the end of the pumping.  Also due a Mammogram next month a six month check up and I am confident that Floppy Fiona has been behaving herself and bastard cancer hasn’t seeped in there.   One good thing about being in hospital had loads of tests, CT scan, ECG and Chest X-rays so felt like my body was getting an MOT.

Good things that have happened

  • Got two new lovely pair of “matching” PJ’s thanks Anne
  • I got out of hospital
  • Had a whale of a time at Mauleys 50th
  • Got date for operation Whoppiddy fucking dooo daaaaa
  • My friend Niamh had her last chemo
  • My friend Linda had a scare but all turned out clear
  • Met a new for coffee through this blog – thanks Joan
  • Attended the Irish Cancer Society conference and met loads of my cancer chickies was a great day
  • Thanks Jonas, the girls, Niall, Mairead, Anne, Mia for keeping me company in hospital

That All Folks – enjoy the rest of your weekend and keep on smiling and enjoying life.  “We are here for a good time not a long time”

Posted in My Updates | 17 Comments

Feck Cancer I’m off on me Holliers – Laughter 24/7

Still recovering from a five-day break in Portugal with my sister Mia, think we called it a break as we spent the whole five days breaking our sides laughing.   It was non stop fun from start to finish as for rest and relaxation…mmmm not too sure about that.  First time ever been away on a sun holiday with sister minus our six kids and boy did we relish and enjoy every single moment.  The only decisions we had to make were:-

  • Where will we go for breakfast
  • Where will we go for lunch
  • What will we have to drink
  • Where will we go for dinner
  • What will we have to drink
  • What club shall we go to
  • What will we have to drink

We spent most of the day at the pool or cafe people watching (one of my favourite hobbies) we hadn’t a care in the world.  You remember when you were a kid and you were in school or at mass and you got a fit of the giggles and you just couldn’t stop laughing?  that’s what we were like 24/7 sometimes we just had to look at each other to erupt into more laughter.  We met a great gang of lads from Sheffield and we had the craic with them and the slagging was 90 – Eh Up Lads….. got great craic taking off their accent, they seriously thought we were nuts.  Needless to say we were well-known around the complex by the time we left.    On our second night both fast asleep in the bedroom I awoke to Mia shouting “get out, get out, you’re in the wrong apartment” I was hanging out of the bed trying to have a goo….. some couple on our couch having a great old-time, obviously got apartments mixed up, was seriously funny the girl left her bra in the rush to get out!  We reckon we saw her a few times int he pool area after but she didnt exactly make eye contact with us.  We left the bra swinging from the palm tree outside our apartment!

We were in Albueferia in Portugal and the part we were in wasn’t for the faint hearted it was a bit like Ibiza uncovered but we found a couple of live music venues that were great fun and more our age.  We went into the old town of Albquefeira a couple of nights that was really nice.  We sat outside this place that had live music quite old-fashioned music, next the hucklebuck came on and five women dragged me up on the street to do it.    Honestly thought Mia was going to wet herself laughing I couldn’t look at her I could just see tears streaming down her face looking at me doing it.

Must say it was pure bliss the whole holiday, just looking after ourselves, not a worry in the world, never checked emails once, the sun was shining, the company was great that we met, dinners out, cocktails, cappucinos, dips in the pool, side-splitting laughter.   One thing that we noticed on holiday it was that everyone was in great form, everyone was enjoying themselves and laughing away and always smiling it was great.

For any of you ladies who have never done a holiday like that dump the kids, grab your sister or your best girlfriend and go away for a few days it’s the best tonic ever.   We were a sorry sight the last night bus came to collect us at 3.50am from our apartments and of course there was no point in going to sleep before that so we had dinner and just a couple of drinks that night.  Lucky me managed to lose my boarding pass between security and gate and that bastard Michael O’Leary charged me €70 for a new one!   Was quite funny as was frisked in security think the lady got a bit of a shock when she was rummaging around my bra and one of my boobs literally came off in her hands :-)

On a totally different note, this week I had the pleasure of meeting the two little girls that we did the Strip and Dip for, Lily Mae and Princess Leah.   I met Lily Mae and her Mam Jude in a hotel near Crumlin hospital and we had lunch together.  Lily Mae was a little dote and was enjoying the space of being able to run around the hotel.  Lily-Mae was on her second last treatment in Crumlin and you could see that she was really tired and it was hard work for her Mam to try to get her to eat. That evening I called up to visit Princess Leah who lives close enough to me here in Kildare, another beautiful little girl and a real trooper, Princess Leah has done all her chemo and radiation and so far unfortunately it has not worked, she looked very frail and is unable to walk at the moment, its heart breaking.  Her older brother Jordan was absolutely fabulous with her, looking out for her all the time and helping her on the couch to sit up for the photo he said “come on Princess Leah up you get”…..  a beautiful child.     The reason for meeting the two girls was two-fold, first I really wanted to meet them and secondly was to do an official hand over the cheque from our recent event in the hope that the girls will get some publicity out of it.  If anyone reading this has any contacts in the media whatsoever would be great to get the photos in the papers or chat about it on radio so if you know of anyone please let me know.

On a very sad note I would like to mention my friend Sheilas husband, Trevor, who passed away two weeks ago suddenly at the age of 48.  Trevor and Sheila were like two peas in a pod you never saw one without the other.  Trevor was a great character and I enjoyed many a fun night in his company, he gave me the lovely AJH saying, we were in a pub one night and he was telling us about all the AJH’s that came into the shop, we were like “whats an AJH”…….Ah Jaysus Howaya….. even got to use it in this blog.  You will be sorely missed by everyone especially your loving soul mate Sheila.   RIP Trevor.

Now in cancer world (nearly forgot) where am I at?  Have a boob pump on Thursday another 100ml injected into me, after that another appointment with oncologist to see how I am reacting to my meds that I have to take for five years – seem to be doing fine on them.   So maybe three more pumps, then operation to take out my expander and put in the implant a couple of months after that will get Floppy Fiona reduced to match the new one.   All in all hopefully be finished with everything around January/February and then of course it will be the MEGA KICKING THE SHITE OUT OF CANCER PARTY the chemo one was just a warm up!!

Good things that happened and are going to happen:-

  • Our blog got shortlisted for the Ireland Blog Awards 2013 :-) Award night in October to see if we win :-)
  • Going to Cancer Conference in Aviva on Saturday and will be meeting up with all my new cancer mates – see you there ladies ;-)
  • Looking forward to Paul’s 50th bash on Saturday
  • Was invited by Vincents to go the Maria Keating Foundation Fashion Show with dinner and drinks in the Conrad at the end of the month.  My cancer buddy Naomi is coming with me should be fun
  • Will be doing a photo shoot early October with the fabulous Elaine Laverty who is doing a calendar for Breast Cancer and I am one of the models and months –  whoop whoop watch this space
  • I am in great form and I wake up every day and count my lucky stars that I have come this far

That’s it folks, enjoy the rest of your weekend, dare to do something different, be a shame not to ;-)

Posted in My Updates | 8 Comments

Cancer treatment finished – Big Fecking Whoop

Is the cancer part of this really finished?  Eleven months on and finally all cancer treatments are finished feel relieved and so glad it’s all over and feels strange at the same time a bit limbo”ish” :-)

Think it’s roughly three weeks since I last wrote when I said that I was going a little pink from radiation.  Well the last one was yesterday so that was the 28th out of 28 and the skin I must say held up really well.  Now admittedly I do a have a great sun tan on my right chest, as for going topless mmmm don’t think so :-)    Think there might be a mass exodus from the swimming pool or beach.   All in all looking back over radiation it all went very smoothly and compared to chemo it was a walk in the park.  I didn’t burn, my skin didn’t crack, fatigue yes I was tired, but not sure about this fatigue thing would say there was a couple of days last week that I felt absolutely bolloxed so I think that was fatigue :-)     So anyone with radiation planned in the future it really isn’t that bad (well it wasn’t for me anyhow).   Definitely not as much craic as chemo as people don’t really talk so it’s very much you go in, you get zapped and you go home. Chemo there was more of a chance to “mingle” :-) if of course you were in the mood for mingling.  I drove in and out by myself everyday and it wasn’t a bother.

Beca and Maggie came with me for the last one yesterday, Beca had noticed a little girl the last time she was there who was bald, Beca asked the nurse if the little girl had cancer, the nurse was a bit taken aback and said yes she has but she will be well soon.   Beca had been playing with the toys in the hospital and of course had asked if she could take some dolls home which was politely declined, however she decided that yesterday she was going to bring in her prize possession her big Bratz bus and leave it for the sick children she also brought in three dolls (two of the dolls hair had been cut really short because they had cancer).   In she went chuffed as anything to drop off her new toys and dolls they made a great fuss of her and she was thrilled.  On leaving the hospital she decided that two dolls really needed to come home with her as they would miss her as a Mam….. lol so three in two out :-)

The nurses were great in Lukes yesterday they kindly took photos of me on the machine and a couple with them.  The kids were able to see the machine and use the remote control to move it around then got kicked out.  When I came out a friend of mine Ronnie was there to greet me with flowers, wine and a lovely card he made himself so we went for a quick cuppa in the hospital.    Had a lovely relaxing evening got a lovely bouquet of flowers delivered from hubby they were beautiful. Must say absolutely love flowers could sit and stare at them for hours.  Was fast asleep my 11.45 maybe that is fatique very rare that I am asleep by that time on a Friday night I am usually just waking up to spin a few discs :-)

So that’s it folks three-quarters of the way through everything now.  Chemo check, Operation check, Radiation check.  All the cancer treatments are now finished and what I am left with is rebuilding my boob and fixing the other one to match the new one.  All in all I think it’s around three more small operations, expander out, silicon in, left boob reduced and nipple placed where it should be ewwwwww then a nipple for my new boob.   Next appointment not til 19th September so have four hospital free weeks.   I reckon I should be totally out the other side by January/February I have been so lucky so far in that everything has run as planned so I am willing it to continue this way and there will be no setbacks with the new boobs.  Next mammogram scheduled for November I will have six monthly checks to make sure nothing is lurking.

During all this I have been dreaming of a few days holidays somewhere warm, somewhere you can lie on a sun lounger and just relax and feel the heat of the sun.   Well it’s happening myself and my sister are heading to Portugal in a couple of weeks for 5 days.   Thankfully my sister is very quiet and not into going out at night so it will be very relaxing, maybe the odd sherry of an evening :-)    We have six kids between us we reckon best part if someone is shouting “Mammy “at the beach or pool they are definitely not ours :-)    For the last six weeks have been looking at you all on Facebook on holliers with fabulous pools while looking out the garden at my deflated paddling pool – so watch out for loads of blue skies and beach photos :-)

I will of course keep writing my blog for those that still want to read it, still have a way to go and enjoy writing it and good to see that people actually read it!   Can’t believe people enjoy my musings, happy days

Good things that happened in the last few weeks

  • I finished radiation  whoop fucking whoop
  • Great night at Julieannes 40th and great to meet some people who follow this blog in person, Catherine, Andrea and Gary
  • Heading to Mary’s Benefit tonight in Wicklow looking forward to it
  • Bought and actually received school books
  • Lovely lunch with Emer Hynes Denton what fun
  • Nights out with Jackie Desmond, Karen Bedford, Liz Murdoch
  • I wake up each morning and thank Christ I am alive
  • We officially raised €20,417 for Leah and Lilly Mae

That’s it folks I suppose I should get back out of bed again..  woke up this morning and no coffee worst feeling in the world.  Got the little one to run in and get it for me while I was a scanger in PJs in the car – was thinking betcha it will be one of those days you bump into an ex that you haven’t seen in twenty years and they spot you in all your finery :-)   Have a great weekend folks.

 

Posted in My Updates | 16 Comments