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.

 

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Halfway through Radiation and only slightly tickled pink

Must say it’s not the same writing my blog on my PC as being tucked up in bed feeling like crap from chemo…… it just doesn’t seem right, however way too hot to type up there!  Got to the halfway mark of radiation therapy yesterday, 14 sessions done and 14 sessions to go.  So far so good no major side effects feeling very tired some days and my skin is starting to go a little pink from the radiation.  This is normal they say the burning starts in the later weeks, I am just hoping I don’t get it too bad, I am lucky being dark-skinned that helps a lot as my body takes a good colour (if I ever let it).

As I said before Luke’s is a lovely small hospital in beautiful surroundings and I have been lucky to be able to drive in good weather and home in good weather.  I wouldn’t like to make that daily trek in the middle of winter it would become very depressing.  It is tough in there though to see so many extremely sick people, a man around my own age with one leg, a lady of around 60 with a hole in her throat but worst is the young children (which thankfully I have not seen many) going around with bald heads, it’s the Mammy in me I just can’t handle that emotionally I get immediately teary eyed thinking of both the child and the poor parents.  Cancer is a bastard for anyone to get but for a kid to get this shitty disease well that’s pure unfair….

A friend of mine Siobhan works there and they have a lot of other services in there to make the patients “trip” with cancer a little easier.  I am meeting with a lady on Wednesday for some information on complementary therapy, so maybe a bit of Reiki, Massage and that feet one (can’t remember the name – ahhh reflexology thanks Adele)…… never had any before so should be interesting.  Also as part of the process met a Social Worker/counsellor and she was asking if I felt I needed counselling I said I didn’t think so at the moment I just wanted to keep going and going and not get stuck in the “thinking about the fact that I have cancer bubble”.   I told her that I sometimes look on in at my cancer and it’s not really happening to me it’s happening to someone else, she said that is quite common and its called denial and some women just want to go, go, go and get it over with.  It was mentioned that people like myself after it’s all over, its then the shock sets in and your mind and body actually realise what you went through.   Hopefully it won’t be a big shock and if it is then yes I would agree to some counselling if I felt I needed it.

A lot of kind people keep telling me I am nearly there, which I am and I nearly have the worst over.   Without being negative but I still have a good bit to go after radiation.  I still have to get my boob pumped for a few months (which is uncomfortable), then an operation to take out the tissue expander out, then another operation to get the implant in.  After that in another few months I have an operation to reduce Floppy Fiona to look like the other one…. then a nipple tatoo for my new girl…..   Sounds like I am a bit morbid today, I’m not I’m just a bit tired I think and even though I know I am close to the end which is great, it’s getting really tedious getting there.   However hopefully by Christmas I will be planning the “I Kicked the Shite out of Cancer Party” and meeting you all for a few pints :-)

Also a word of advice for women going though an “immediate reconstruction” I think they should change the name of it, as it is in no way immediate, absolutely nothing immediate about it my right chest is just a crater still.  To have it all finished it maybe around December/January and the operation was in April – I am no mathematician but doesn’t sound immediate to me.  Looking back if I had known it would take this long I probably would have opted for the “Tummy Tuck” reconstruction where they take the “excess fat” which I have plenty of and use that for your new boob.     Ah well we will just have to wait and see.

On a much brighter note I have gone through all this with ease.  After speaking to many of my new cancer friends who have ended up with infections en route which ended up in hospital stays, I never did, even after eight chemos my body responded really well and I obviously have a great immune system.  I got the best news ever afterwards that I was cancer free the news you dream about and radiation compared to chemo is so much easier on the ole body.

Had an absolutely fantastic day and night at Elaine and Bryans wedding,  Elaine Laverty has been a great friend to me and we only met each other through Facebook.  Elaine took all the baldy pics and Dip in the Nip photos she is a legend.    Elaine and Bryans theme was a 50′s wedding and was held up the Wicklow Mountains at Kippure estate it was an absolutely amazing wedding and the two of them seem just perfect together.  What fun we had (of course I was wrapped up in bed by 11.30pm).  Watch this space Elaine is organising a Calendar in aid of Breast Cancer and I will be in it – a whole month to myself :-)   12 Lovely ladies who have either had breast cancer or have been effected by it.

Have had plenty of “me” time recently and maybe too much time to think….. met a lovely friend Karen Meagen last week for dinner and drinks and we had a great night, love getting out and about in Dublin and there was a great buzz around the place.  We had a great giggle.  A very handsome taxi man on the way home – thanks Ed and thanks for the lovely wine glasses you left at my folks.

Big life event for me got a hair cut last week, honestly you should have seen the state of it small grey/black curls – just gross!  Got around an inch off the top and now it looks shorter with small grey/black curls…… hairdresser says I just have to grin and bear it and let it grow out……mmmmmm……searching for some hairbands of neutral colour to make it look at bit more normal :-)   Always have Daisy the wig to fall back on – ehh nooooo never put that girl back on me – curls or no curls.

Good luck to Marie and Darina for next week in Vinnies xx

Good things that happened this week

  • Halfway through radiation
  • Boob so far not really burnt
  • Great night out with Karen
  • Two B&Bs with the folks and got pampered as always
  • Mary Ball popped in for a chat last night – always great to see you Mary
  • I’m cancer free
  • We are just up to €20,000 for our Dip in the Nip Fundraiser

Have a great weekend folks, go out grab the rays, hold your kids tight and wonder at all the beautiful things you are surrounded by.

This was playing yesterday under the machine – love this song

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Week One of Radiation Finished – I am Radiant!

Life is good doing the normal things one does daily and not thinking about being sick or treatment or anything……. then BANG back into the hospital system and to being poked and prodded by wonderful medical people.   I think starting radiation was a big shock to my system.  I started on Tuesday this week and on the Monday I was feeling really low about it and quite emotional.  There was a bit of moist eyes happening on the night before and on the way to my first treatment in St Luke’s.  The strange thing about it is I don’t know why I was emotional, I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t dreading it, I don’t know really my emotions took over me and I felt as emotional as when I driving to last chemo!  Think my ole body is a bit of an emotional roller coaster at the moment maybe due to the drugs Tamoxifen which I started taking and will have to for next 5/10 years.  Basically the drug changes your whole system inside,  my cancer was hormone driven and the drug fights too much hormones being generated in my body!

First day at Luke’s lovely place, lovely surrounds and lovely people.  I had to have a verification test on my first day.   They were verifying that the physics on the readings and measurements they had done the last time had not changed.  I had to lie on the machine with arms over my head (this was very uncomfortable as my arm is still very sore at times).  Loads of measurements taken, 0.5mm to the left, 97mm to the right, up on the chair 5mm, over 2mm it’s quite amazing.  I had already got three tiny pin prick tattoos to mark the spot.  The lovely nurse marked me again on my upper chest area close to the chest bone and put a plaster over it and told me that the plaster (see through) has to stay there for the duration of the radiation.    All measurements were in order then back to the waiting room to await my first treatment got called quite quickly.  In again stripped to the waist on the chair arms above the head and they were fussing over me (always around three staff nurses during radiation) they set it all up then leave the room when the radiation starts.  You are left there and the machine slowly moves around you I always have my eyes closed so not really sure what is happening.  Either way it is not in the least bit painful and the only discomfort is having the arms over my head.

When in the loo afterwards saw myself in the mirror and noticed my lovely new target practice marks……….Jaysus could they not have made the X’s just a tad smaller :-)   I think on reflection I would have preferred black as that would match more of my clothes :-) I asked them about it the next day as I honestly thought they were having a laugh saying it had to stay there for the six weeks – they said yes it really does have to stay there the other alternative was three more tiny pin prick tattoos and not mad into blue freckles.  I was quite put out about those stupid X’s – now I couldn’t care less – I mean whats a few X’s between friends :-)

Havent met any new people yet you don’t really have time to sit around and chat (unfortunately) anyone in the waiting room are usually men and they don’t talk they just stare into space. It’s very hard to see the young kids in the hospital bald and in wheelchairs. There was one little fellah on my first day and he was in a wheelchair sitting beside his Dad he was crying and the look of utter desperation on the Dad’s face was just awful, he was asking the nurse if he could bring him out for a while he was doing anything he could to try cheer his son up, it was heartbreaking.

Had four radiation sessions so far this week so that’s week one over with which feels great, five more weeks to go (25 more sessions) and then that’s the radiation trip out-of-the-way.  So far have had no side effects I have been lathering on the E45 cream both front and on my back as the radiation goes through your body and out the other side.  Main side effect is fatigue which wont kick in this early, I mean more fatigue, drug fatigue, chemo fatigue, radiation fatigue, sleepless nights fatigue – I could dress an army with all these fatigues!   The other one is burning of the skin, this wouldn’t usually happen until a couple of weeks into it, it can either be like bad sun burn or really actually burnt and they would have to give you special creams for it.  I am hoping that I will just get it mildly cooked!

With this lovely weather we are having I asked the doctor about wearing high factor and being able to go out in it.  He said absolutely not, nothing has to touch that area except E45 cream and that I really should be wearing a polo neck as can not have sun on my neck either – he said it with a smile and said of course you can’t in this weather but you have to protect the area.  So out with the scarves (nice cotton ones so they are cool) to keep the sun away from the radiated area.  Its nothing to do with cancer its to ensure that as that area is getting burned by radiation you dont want sunburn on top of it.   Went to the beach yesterday afternoon with the girls after treatment and donned the ole scarf and t’was no bother at all.

Through all of this people have been saying that you get to appreciate life more and I sort of took it with a pinch of salt.  It is so amazingly true though, I have this amazing inner gratitude of being given a chance.  I don’t sweat the small things anymore (to be honest I never really did anyhow).  If I am invited out in the middle of the week for dinner like I was with a great friend of mine Dairiona I say yes that would be lovely.  This time last year it would have been too much hassle – not now I go anywhere I am asked and enjoy the company of others so much more now its really hard to explain.  When out to dinner on Wednesday I bumped into the lovely Pat a truly wonderful lady who I went through chemo with and I have popped in a few times since if I am in the hospital on a Thursday, was so great to see her out an about and enjoying the laugh with her friends!  Go Pat!!!   I brought the kids down to Sandycove last weekend and I was like a tourist on speed and was so enjoying the beach, went and checked out the 40ft and then we climbed Joyce Tower and enjoyed the view from the top.  This was topped off by an impromtu dinner at Dymphna and Ian’s house along with Karen and I had a lovely evening just enjoying the fun and company of friends.

Going to my photographer buddy Elaine Laverty’s wedding on Friday can’t wait its a 50′s wedding and its gonna be fun fun fun am going on my todd I find this fun too get to meet so many new people!

Good things that happened this week

  • The sun shined everyday
  • First week of Radiation ticked off and complete
  • Lovely Dinner out
  • Lovely Day on beach with the girls and my folks (thanks Dad for bringing them swimming)
  • A cancer buddy Joan got the good news after chemo that the tumour had disappeared!
  • Enjoying a lovely lazy Saturday doing nada, zip, zip, zilch

Thats it folks – grab life by the balls!

Posted in My Updates | 8 Comments

We did it we Stripped and Dipped What Fun

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

 

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Drum Roll Here are the Details – Strip n Dip

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

1pm START

The beach we are doing it at is called Magheramore Beach in between Wicklow Town and Brittas Bay Beach.   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 another beach.  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 down 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 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 call Dymphna on  0868574884

Whats happening on the day

Meet at 1pm in the car-park.  You can get changed into whatever maybe in the Car Park is best spot, people are wearing dressing gowns, dresses, big t-shirts 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.

We go down to the beach.  I want to get a group photo for the blog so have a sign for each of the initials in the blog name – www.kickingtheshiteoutofcancer.com we will hold the signs up in front of our white bits (not enough signs for everyone) so the rest can be just in the background – don’t worry NOTHING will be showing.   I am asking my close friends, cancer budders, cancer survivors and family to be the ones holding up the signs and you guys behind if that’s ok.    All the initials will be giving out by Sinead and Dymphna.

w Aileen Murphy
w Breda Hurley
w Anne Cunningham
. Debbie Nolan
k Eileen Wall
i Eilish Carney Brady
c Grainne Hartnett
k Julieanne Odonovan
i Karen Meagan
n Karen Woods
g Kerensa Darcy
t Grainne Hartnett
h Linda Shadlow
e Mairead Murphy
s Ann Marie Featherstone
h Deirdre Featherstone
i Ann Featherstone
t Marie McGee
e Marie Shadlow
o Mary Ball
u Mary Margaret Molloy
t Orla Rowse
o Reenagh Maher
f Sinead Hamill
c Mary Cunningham Keenan
a Jacqueline Crowley
n Josey Foran Farrell
c Lisa Hannan
e Breda Hurley
r Francis O’Driscoll
. Sinead Hamill
c Dympnha
o Katie Brady
m Patricia Demery

Dymphna and Sinead are the two ladies helping out on the day they will have Yellow Hi-Vis jackets on them.  They will be organising us and if any of you have cash please put it in an envelope with your name on it and give it to them.     After that photo maybe we put back on  the clothes face the ocean and Sinead and Dymphna will do the countdown.  Maybe we go in as four rows of women or something like that.   Everyone dashes in dips and dashes back out again and gets clothed.

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 going up to McDaniels Pub in Brittas Bay around 3kms away on the coast.  We are hoping that everyone will come up for a while.  Its a lovely pub with great Beer Garden.  McDaniels have offered us Sausages and Chips for €3 per person that should be enough to keep us warm.   There we can have a laugh about the day and of course you can order other food if you want.

After that there is around 24 of us heading into Wicklow Town and staying the night in the Grand Hotel.  We are having dinner at 7.30ish €15 for two course meal, if anyone wants to join us please let me know.   Julieanne is bringing a bucket with her so we will take this on our travels and try to raise some extra money.

Donations

If you have cash donations please put it in an envelope with your name on it and give it to either Sinead or Dymphna (the ladies in the Hi-Vis jackets).   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

A big thanks to a few people helping out with this – let me introduce my band,  Sinead on Beach, Dymphna on vocals, Julieanne on buckets, Karen on sausages, Elaine on photos and Patrick on signs.      Thanks all for helping out folks.

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.  I have been a pain and bribed and blackmailed you into doing this.  It means so much to me that you are all doing this supporting me as a person and you have been so very good to me during my cancer road-trip .   It’s amazing that my friends turn up and get naked for me.  It’s such a huge show of support to me as a person I can’t describe how humbled I feel.

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.  Some of you are still in treatment and some are starting treatment next week the lovely Jacq - I salute you Jacq your wonderful.

For all the Kilcock Dippers we are thinking of Sonya who could not make it due to being in hospital.  Sonya we will raise a salute to you and will help you to kick the shite out of cancer.

Lastly this funding will make a huge difference to Leah and Lily-Mae and you have all gone above and beyond the call of duty with fund-raising.

As at 18.45 (Online Only) we have raised €10,000.00 – AMAZING

 Map of the Beach

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

 

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Getting my kit off for Cancer – Get Yours Off Too

Can’t believe it’s nearly a month since I last wrote anything here….. does that mean I am not sick anymore?  I wonder about that if I got the all clear am I still sick?  Sick in the head well I know that always been sick there, but sick no I don’t think so.

Since I spoke to you last there has been a lot of hospital visits to pump up my boob.  Its amazing the way technology works.  In my old boob there is a thing called an expander which they pump up every few weeks to start the form of my new boob.   I went in for the first one around 3 weeks ago.  I met with the plastic surgeon and she was checking my scars etc. she asked me if I thought my scar was healing well.  Seriously how would I know I have never had a boob cut off before or a scar on my body…… she seemed to think it was healing fine and all is good. Lay down on the bed for my first injection, there is a little magnet in my boob and a magnet in my file at the hospital she runs the magnet over the boob and finds the other magnet then they know where to inject the fluid.  They injected 50ml into me was a very strange feeling and a bit unpleasant.  I texted a friend of mine before I went in to see if it hurt she said no not really just don’t look at the needle – what did I do? looked at the needles a big huge syringe – well it looked huge to me anyhow.  First pump over wasn’t too bad didn’t come out looking like Dolly Parton or anything but one step at a time I suppose.  The following week had another one this time it was extremely painful as my whole arm went numb and I could feel the fluid going down my arm I think the (gobshite) doctor missed the spot and my arm got injected instead.  What a waste of a trip drove in waited two hours and the doctor pumped my arm instead of my boob.

Moving right along got another pump a week later and this time it was 100mls and it all went smoothly and felt like the fluid went into the right place.  Had a lovely doctor seriously cute like the kind you see on ER he was so nice as well and I said was hoping for another fill next week.  He sat me down and told me to take it easy and that I must have patience and not rush into this.  He said we should leave all the filling  until after radiation as when boob hits radiation no one really knows what is going to happened.  As I mentioned before with the sort of reconstruction I am having there is a risk that it will all flop (not that there is anything there to flop) but I don’t dwell on thinking that it’s not going to work – IT IS :-)

I must say this week in particular I have been in great form and feeling really good in myself and not in any pain or discomfort whatsoever.  First week in a long time I had nothing to do with cancer, no hospital appointments no doctors pure bliss.  The ole brain seems to be getting back to normality I was able to sit down on my PC and actually concentrate for more than a minute.  This “chemo brain” as its called is a very strange thing to explain it’s basically a total lack of concentration and I am a go getter and get things done since this hit me I look blankly at things thinking I should do that…. but later then later I say I should have done that!!!    Anyhow feeling fab and was literally thinking God its great not to think about cancer when phone rang it was the hospital and the oncology nurse saying that they should have been in touch before that I need to go in and start my new regime of tablets anti-hormone pills.   Back to normality with a crash I have to take medication for the next five years a pill called Tamoxifen some people have a lot of side effects on it and I don’t like the thoughts of being on something for five years but hey if it keeps me healthy I can handle that.   It’s just strange though you think your out of the woods and you’re not really its all about trying to handle what I have had and make sure the bastard doesn’t come back.

My next step is radio therapy.  I start on the 8th July and before this I will have a big CT scan where they will mark where exactly they are going to zap this is done by way of a tiny tattoo marking (thinks its two actually).  Radio therapy doesn’t have the same after effects of chemo thank God so I wont feel sick from it.  They did say that it is tiring and my boob can get burned so I have to be really careful and lather on the E45 cream all the time to make sure its kept moisturised.   I have to do six weeks of this daily its 30 sessions all in all not looking forward to the daily grind of doing it and it ruling my life for six weeks.  However no doubt I will meet some more great characters there which is always a bonus.  When last in hospital I went back to the chemo room to see if any of my old friends were there and spent a pleasant hour chatting to the ones that were.  They didn’t recognise me at first due to my hair style was great seeing you all and keep up that great spirit and destroy this bastard.

Ten months now since I was first diagnosed can’t believe that I have been in the cancer time warp so long now.  Its been “the best of times and the worst of times” and still reckon it was bequeathed to me for a reason, just have to figure out what that reason is :-)    Ahh I reckon it’s all my new friends one lucky woman I am to be both alive and to have so many great friends.

I have been working away on our blogs big charity event the Dip in the Nip which is taking place Saturday 22nd June.   Deep breaths…… every time I talk about these two beautiful girls I well up which I am doing at the moment.  We are currently around 130 ladies signed up now to do the Dip in Wicklow so far online we have raised roughly €5k my goal is €10k and by hook or by crook I am going to get it and I don’t care who I blackmail or bully :-)   This blog is not my blog its our blog you guys have been through this with me and I need your help.   The main help is getting more lovely ladies to do the Dip as the more people we have doing it the more money we get for the girls.  Next is I want you to please donate anything you can afford to the girls at www.idonate.ie/kickingtheshiteoutofcancer .

Both of the girls are extremely ill with rare forms of cancer they need to get the proper treatment to have a chance of surviving.   I can only imagine the pain Lily-Mae and Leah have gone through during the past year with their endless chemo and radiation and being poked and prodded and basically just feeling so sick.  Disgracefully Ireland can’t offer them the treatment and they are fund raising to get treatment overseas.  In Leah’s case they must have the funding up front before she can travel to London to give her a chance, it’s no mean feat they need €250k and so far they have raised roughly €100k.  God I wish I was a billionaire and give them the money they need – if you know of anyone that is please tell them to help :-)

Thanks in advance folks for your help – ladies if you are worried about your size, shape etc.etc. who cares we are all women we have from a size 8 to a size 26 doing it.  Don’t sweat the small things in life its only flesh!  I’m doing it with one boob okay blackmail over.

Good things that have happened

  • We featured in a great article in Irish Parent Magazine of how my kids dealt with cancer
  • There was a week of glorious weather
  • Had great day yesterday with Sinead going around Wicklow getting the beach sorted and doing a Trial Run for Dip in the Nip
  • Didn’t have to go into hospital at all this week
  • I’m cancer free (did I mention that before)
  • Some great people helping me out with the Dip, Sinead, Adele and Patrick big thanks
  • Had a great trip to Cork for Elaine Lavertys hen what a laugh we had
  • Great night at Patricks 50th
  • My brain is somewhat functioning again

That’s all folks – hope all is good with you guys – have fun and don’t sweat the small things

 

Dee x

 

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Cancer Free and Getting by with a little help from my Friends

Friday 3rd of May big day for me – appointment with surgeon to get the results of my operation.  I was very confident about the results (as he had already told me that all had gone great and in my heart and soul I knew the bad stuff had left me) but I do like to see things on paper and have a look at the evidence so to speak.

Off to Vincents sporting my lovely drains which were still hanging off me.  There was however a very stylish way of clipping them to my belt – John Wayne eat your heart out.  Also I was sporting my new hairstyle no more wiggy for me just can’t do it anymore it’s not that its annoying or hot or itchy or anything it’s just not me anymore.  My brother told me I looked like the kid from Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in hospital (God I just love compliments) :-)   Met my friend Niamh outside the girl who had the operation the same day as me.   We were of course hoping for the best results for both of us.

My surgeon sat us down and told us that “as far as medical science can tell you are cancer free, all cancer was cut away, unfortunately you can’t see cancer cells but medically was deemed cancer free”   Obviously this was all I wanted to hear after seven months on my road trip with cancer.  This is a little technical but will be of interest to people who may have breast cancer.  They took out 19 of my lymph nodes in my right arm (lymph nodes are a drainage system in our body and they also can carry cancer to different parts of our bodies).   When they take out the lymph nodes they get dissected afterwards to see how many of them are cancerous to see if the cancer was travelling.  He said that there are different scales 1-3, 3-7 and then 7 plus which grades the severity of the cancer.  Out of the 19 they only found one that had cancer so as he said himself you can’t really get a better result than that.  He did say of course it would have been better if it had been zero but we knew because of my earlier operation that it had started to travel there.  So that was very good news as well.

I asked him what next?  He said that I will still have to have radio-therapy probably around 35 sessions which is done daily over six weeks give or take a day or two.  The radio is not as urgent as before but of course still needs to be done.   People ask why do I need radio therapy and I have asked myself that too…. radio therapy is a safe guard for the future and zaps any cancer cells that maybe hiding in my body at the moment.  It’s really to limit the chance of reoccurrence.  I did ask the doctor about reoccurrence and if I had more chance than other women of it happening again.  He said that they will keep monitoring me every six months and I will be on a drug called Tamoxifen for five years, as for reoccurrence I would have a slightly higher chance than normal but nothing drastic.

Happy Chappy I was after that meeting and Siobhan the lovely nurse helped me get rid of my drains and gave me some new paper stitches.  I still had my bandage on from surgery she suggested to leave it on for a couple of more days.   We went home extremely happy with the news cos hey what better news can you get than someone saying your Cancer Free!!!

Next step was to meet my plastic surgeon (sounds posh doesn’t it) and I did this the following Thursday.   More tech details so skip if you’re not interested.  At the moment there is currently what is called an “expander” inside my “sort of” boob.  This gets filled up with a saline solution every couple of weeks which of course expands my boob.  The nurse was telling us that inside my boob there is a magnet and on my file at the hospital there is a magnet.   When getting my boob filled they run a magnet over my boob to catch the other magnet then they can inject the saline within that point – wow isn’t that amazing!

Anyhow met with my plastic surgeon and she checked my wound and was happy with the way things were going it was great that there was no infection which is quite common.  I couldn’t get my first “pump” that day as wound was too raw.   I will go in next week to get my first pump to get the ball (boob) rolling.  It was mentioned that I can only get two pumps probably before radio therapy which I wasn’t too impressed about, then after radio I will have to wait five months to get the “official” implant.   I seriously wasn’t impressed with this as I though I would be done and dusted before Christmas I asked why do they call it immediate reconstruction if it’s really gonna take nearly a year to have a proper new boob.   Politely she explained that even though the official implant operation can not be until five months after radio therapy I can still be pumped.  Also in the meantime I can get Floppy Fiona operated as she will have to be made smaller she asked if I wanted this and I was like yes, yes, yes I agree to it now put me down on the list.  So pinky and perky wont be writing a letter to Santa Claus for some nice new lingerie but maybe by Feb/March everything will be finished.   My new one will have to have a nipple tattooed on it jury is out as whether to get a nipple or something else still thinking a winky smiley face could be fun!  Overall after the meeting I was a bit down as I am extremely impatient and I really didn’t think it would take this long but what can you do?   Patience is a virtue obviously I am not very virtuous :-)

I’m three weeks over my operation now and reality and what I thought it was gong to be like is quite different.  I thought recover 5/6 weeks yeah right, not drive for 4/5 week yeah right, I thought me being me would be up and at it at least within two weeks.  Reality is that it’s quite painful and have extreme lack of energy, interest and concentration in things.  What is actually sore and painful is my right arm (not the “sort of” boob) I walk around with arm in air like its broken trying to train myself to have it by my side.  Any sudden moves silly ones like plugging in a charger or something sends pain up my arm and I have to be extremely careful getting off couches and silly things like using the kettle with my right arm.  The nurse explained to me that when getting lymph nodes out that some nerve endings would have been severed so this is causing the pain.  I am typing this on my laptop as using my beloved computer is fairly painful a small thing like reaching up to move the mouse!    However at least I know this is normal and it will pass sooner rather than later :-)

Other main problem is cabin fever now I am in no way an outdoor/sports person that feels the need to go for a 5k walk or climb mountains however I do miss being able to get in a car and call to someone.   I have walked down the village twice (probably 2k return trip) I was wrecked after the first one and had to get one of the kids to come meet me half way to take the one tiny bag I had off me.  The next time was a little better.  I also suffer from tingling feet so if I walk too much it gets uncomfortable (this is a leftover from chemo).   My friends have been brilliant to me Ger dropping over dinner and drinks :-) Reenagh too with her lovely spag bol.  Terry and Una came down the other morning to take me out for coffee what a good idea – thanks guys and hope you enjoyed the red lemonade and ham sangers enroute!!   It drives me mad my “Dublin” friends think Clane is out in the sticks it takes 40 mins from my house to my folks house 35 was the best I ever made it in.  Thanks for all my visitors so far :-)   Keep it up folks it’s the only thing keeping me sane!!!

On a sad note a few days after my operation I found out that an old friend of mine Tommy Rath had died and of cancer.  Tommy was a lovely guy and a perfect gentleman and was loved by thousands and will be so sadly missed by his family and friends.  I went to the funeral with Mary and it was great to see such a huge amount of people at it to say goodbye to him he not only filled the church he filled the adjoining hall as well with people.  It was lovely to meet up with old friends some that I haven’t seen for over twenty years.  I know Tommy used to follow my trip on Facebook.  Sleep well my friend.

I am not as I have stated before a very emotional person or a touchy feely sort of gal.  However I have to take this time to sincerely thank all the friends and family that I have.  I have so many more friends now than when I was pre-cancer and some of these friends are the worlds best people.   They have come out of the woodwork for me supporting me all the way, making sure life is as easy as possible for me with offers of help and loads of delicious dinners :-)   Without all of you and my wonderful “gang” I would not be doing as well as I am.  I feel humbled by your love and support and all I ask that you keep it going I now realise a lot of things in life about what is important.  Its friends and family and that’s it!!!

As mentioned before I am helping organising a fund-raising event which is being held this Sunday 19th May in the Stillorgan Orchard.  Its called a Gig for Leah - Leah is this beautiful 14-year-old young lady who is suffering from a rare form of bone cancer and unfortunately already has lost a leg to this bastard disease.  We are raising funds for her family to get her the treatment she requires as the treatment is not available here (shame on our system).  If your around the area pop in tickets are €10 and if you can’t make it you can donate on Leah’s Website   There is a huge line up of bands playing, The Shoos, Stepaside, Superfly, Fistfull of Oranges and Blues Crew will be a great day.  Looking forward to getting out for a few scoops on a Sunday afternoon – cant remember the last time I did that.

I am also organising a Kicking the Shite out of Cancer Dip in the Nip.   I am delighted to say that so far 95 women have signed up for it and yes your right I want you lovely ladies to come as well.  It’s on the 22nd June in a “secret” beach location in Wicklow. Its going to be such a laugh and great craic (excuse the pun!).  I decided to donate all the monies we raise for two little girls Leah and Lily Mae who are both suffering from rare forms of cancer and again trying to raise funds for treatment outside Ireland.  So come on you lovely ladies bare all for these brave little girls and remember if I can do it bald with one boob you can too!  Join the Wibbly Wobbly Wonders and splash for cash.   If you cant make it or you are a “man” feel free to donate www.idonate.ie/kickingtheshiteoutofcancer every little helps!

Good things that happened in last three weeks

  • I got the All Clear from Cancer
  • My friend ALSO go the All Clear from Cancer
  • I got loads of dinners cooked for me
  • So many lovely bouquets of flowers (even chocolate ones)
  • Some great books to get me reading again from Amanda
  • We had two days of sunshine
  • People are starting to do the trek to Clane from Dublin
  • Got brought out for lovely brekkie thanks Una and Terry
  • Thanks Reenagh and Ger for all that you do for me
  • Going out on Sunday – whoohaaaa
  • My Mother is doing Dip in the Nip

That’s it folks sorry for the long blog – once I start sometimes I cant stop :-)    Summing it all up am in great form and getting better daily.   Folks are enroute now to bring me out for a drive – should I take a rug and a bottle of TK Red Lemonade??

 

Posted in My Updates | 17 Comments

The New Me – One Boob and No Wig!

D Day had dawned (or should I say DD Day)…..time to operate to remove the cancer from my body which had been thankfully contained in my boob Cancerous Chloe.   Drove to the hospital to meet my sister there, I was honestly cool, calm and collected.  Nothing playing in the car just me and my thoughts and no tears on the journey, I think I was ready had been fairly upset the day before.

Checked into admissions where I met another girl I know going through the same operation that day we had a big hug and a chat.  As I was a bit late I think she got in before me and I was left waiting a while.   Mia arrived and unfortunately no coffee as had been fasting since 12 the night before. We have a good chat think she was surprised I was so calm and we also had a good giggle checking out the fantabulous gown I would have to don and the lovely cream knee-length socks (both ended up in my suitcase on the way home bloody fairies!!).   Surgeon popped in around 12 to say hello to me and to say he would see me soon was thinking Jesus hope he wasn’t out on the tear last night and had a shaky hand.

We then went up to pre-op and Mia was allowed to go with me, the nurses I must say were great characters. I was still really calm and we managed to have a good laugh with both Mia and the nurses.  A friend had told me to ask for a pre-op sedative to help me relax before the operation I asked the nurse and she just laughed saying “emmmm you seriously don’t need one”.  Surgeon strolled by and nurse asked if I had any questions I said yes one and asked him when I would know if my cancer had gone, he said “it is gone, it will be gone, it will be cutout all of it” I said to Mia “you got that” :-) happy days.  About to be wheeled in to pre-op said goodbye to Mia she however had to be let out so she could get the lift five floors down instead of taking the stairs – the lazy git.  I was laughing saying Jesus I am getting my boob cut off and you can’t take the stairs.  Wheeled into theatre a fabulous view of Dublin Bay I remember it was very cold and there was around eight people in there…. that’s the last I remember.

Woke up around 8pm I think Jonas was in the room with me reading the newspaper I remember I was all over the place and totally Ga Ga.  Jonas has been fantastic in the past week and so supportive and helpful with everything.  All I kept saying was “I want coke, I want coke”, he said we couldn’t as there was a small problem and they may need to operate again.  It was confirmed that I had a blood clot and had to go down again.  10pm they decided to operate at 630 next morning and I was brought my tea and toast and my coke!   The doctor did mention something about fasting I vaguely remember, Jonas went home around 11pm I think and I then I got woken up on the hour for temp and blood pressure til the men in white came to collect me!   Down to pre-op again the nurse asking me about fasting there was a bit of confusion when I admitted to the coke.  They were not impressed I quickly calculated okay last sip at 3am as there was no way I was getting off that operating table….. anyhow op went ahead last I remember again was Dublin Bay….

Came through around 11am next morning and seemed fine (to myself anyhow) I held court to three friends at around 12pm I think, all three are in different stages of breast cancer.  One of the ladies Mary I had never met before was great to meet you Mary – I am sure when I look back now I must have been totally twatted when you were all talking to me.  Jonas came in later on think I slept a lot in the afternoon, Mia came in for the evening shift looking back now its all sort of a blur.   At this stage in the whole process I didn’t really have time to think about what had happened and was probably still out of it after the two general anesthetics.  The following day had loads of visitors and I thank you all, Naomi, Liz, Lisa, Mary, Sinead, Mary Benson, Emer, Sean, Therese, Colly, Anne (if I have forgotten anyone please forgive me).  Jonas and kids came in that evening (I was extremely tired at that stage) the kids eyed me very nervously especially Beca (she loved my boobs) and she wanted to see what “it” looked like I showed her my bandage and it didn’t phase her I told her she could feel it if she wanted which she gladly did and that was that.  The other two girls stayed sort of clear of “it” gave me hugs etc but were quite quiet (I felt anyhow).  I fell asleep in the middle of them being there, they woke me up and then left.

The following day which was a Friday was a terrible day it was like my day of dawning or realisation what had happened to me over the last few days.  I stripped in the bathroom and made myself look at what was left of me.  It was not a pretty picture Floppy Fiona as dangly as ever and then nothing on the other side apart from a big huge flat bandage and bruises around it all and two drains hanging off it.  I felt butchered. I honestly think in hindsight think I was very naive going into the operation and really thought I would have something there when I woke up.  I spent most of the day crying and falling asleep only my folks visited for a half an hour that day.  Was definitely one of the lowest points of this whole cancer trip and I call it my day of mourning and I think both my body and myself needed to do it.

Saturday was a better day and I got out on Sunday after a bit of confusion and language barrier between the overseas doctors and nurses.  Each day since I have been getting stronger and stronger.  The way I am thinking of now is I have had my mourning its now time to get my ass in gear realise that my cancer is gone, there are plenty of people in a worse off position than me, get on with life I wont always be this butchered in body and soul and I am now ready for the next part of the road-trip.   I am also so god damn happy that is over with now its a huge relief to me.

During the time in hospital I had so many well wishes, texts, messages, calls etc.etc. even in the really dark times these put a smile on my face.  So many of my family being strong and being there for me Jonas, the girls, Mia, my folks, my brothers you guys have been brilliant of course along with the many friends that I am so fortunate to have in my life.  I had two people who I have never met face to face before Mary and Naomi who I have met through this blog as they have been down the cancer trail – how amazing is that you can build up a relationship with someone via a blog and Facebook and become great friends and then finally get to meet – that was very special and I felt I had known them all my life!

I have been relaxing since I came home and under orders from everyone to rest-up (not really sure what that means) but am resting up way more than normal.  I have been involved in a great event happening for a lovely young lady called Leah Little from Greystones who is fourteen years of age and has bone cancer.  We are running a gig in the Stillorgan Orchard ont he 19th May from 4pm-10pm to raise funding for Leah to go overseas to receive vital treatment.   There is a big gig happening with four great bands, The Shoos, Superfly, Stepaside and a Fistfull of Oranages admission is €10 in and it will be a great afternoon/evening for a great cause.  It would be great to make this a huge success you can find out more about the event on Facebook or on www.gigforleah.com   Really looking forward to this event will be the first night I will be out – mightnt be shaking my things as much as I was at the last party as I only have one to shake – but will sure give it a lash :-) but maybe on the barstool :-)

I have decided its time to dump Daisy my faithful rug, wig, hat over the last six months, time has come to be bare and bald and you know what it feels good!  Hair is growing back still looks quite fuzzish so might have to give it one more shave but think Daisy has seen her day and might come out just the odd time now.   It feels good to go out bald(ish) hey this is me, this is Dee and I am good with it :-)

“I can see clearly now the rain has gone” will be singing “I can see clearly now the drain has gone” on Friday when they take these two Salt and Pepper huge yokes attached to me!!!  These lovely new accessories can be worn casually from the hips and are on trend this season.  Loads of uses such as vodka for pubs, salt n vinegar for the foodie or cocktail shakers.  Hurry while stocks last.

Good things that happened this week

  • Doctor said I was CANCER FREE (official results Friday)
  • I woke up after two operations :-)
  • I lost around 6lbs in six hours
  • I was cool, calm and collected on way to operation
  • Don’ think I accosted any of the cute doctors
  • Got lovely bouquet of flowers from Bentley Systems (Thanks Cassie, AnneMarie, Helen and Others)
  • I got a lovely private room to myself in Vincents with en suite
  • Lovely lasagna from sis-in-law Mairead on return
  • Fabby Meal from the lovely Ger today – yummy
  • Lovely Flowers from Lucie in Sweden
  • Some great and funny Get Well Cards arriving daily
  • Its SUMMER

Next stop for me now is meeting surgeon on Friday and planning the next step on the road to me Kicking the Shite out of Cancer which is radio therapy and continuing reconstruction. Summing it up it was a tough week but I’m out the other side and ready to get going again!

Its Summer :-)   Enjoy it do things you never dared do before :-)   Its fun :-)

 

 

Posted in My Updates | 24 Comments

Bye Bye Boobie

Well that “detour” in my life is coming to the next stage.  Time to go and get rid of this cancer out of my body.  Unfortunately this cancer is in my boob and I really don’t want to get rid of one of the girls but hey this girl was trying to kill me.  “Dont mess with the best cos the best don’t mess”  so off with her!

All set with the following about to be put in my “non pink” suitcase

  • Jammies (Button down for comfort after op)
  • Dressing Gown
  • Safety Pins to hold the drains after
  • Slippers
  • 8 Bottles of Pinot Grigio for me and my new friend who will unfortunately also be with me tomorrow
  • New extremely sexy bras (NOT)
  • Laptop
  • iPhone
  • iPhone charger (most important of all things!)

Feeling extremely strange all day today and any time I think of the pending operation I get misty eyed and my tummy is in a heap.  Have had loads of phone calls, texts, messages and well wishers which is wonderful starting to get a bit choked though in some of the calls.   Who is this person?  the big strong lady who has gone through all of this so far, why be so sad now?  I am not nervous or scared just sad.  Every time I think of getting my boob taken away it makes me sad, each shower is one less shower with two (of my own) boobs!   Being totally honest I know this boob was trying to kill me and by getting rid of Cancerous Chloe I am going to be on my way to recovery.  However no matter what way you look at it it’s still sad so there!!!!  :-) :-)

Hope the above makes sense and that I am allowed a few hours of sadness through all of this crap.  I wouldn’t be true to myself or this blog if I was saying that I was lepping around the garden with joy at the thought of it!!  However I am so looking forward to this operation being over and continuing to get better by the day and start the beginning of my new life with my new boob!  HEY we havent got a name for her yet – what you reckon?

Heading in at 0750 tomorrow to Vincents not sure I’ll be playing Rod on the way over must find something lively to perk me up (excuse the pun).   Not sure of exact time of operation yet but probably around 11 or 12 there will be a lot of prep first then the dreaded wait outside the operating room.   Someone suggested I get a sedative as this person was a toughie like myself but lost it waiting outside – drugs – OH YEAH ME PLEASE!  Was going it alone but “may” let my sister come with me ;-)

The operation is in three parts the mastectomy, the reconstruction (a tiny boob that will be pumped up over time) and then lymph node removal from my right arm they, as far as I know, are taking them all out as the bugger started to travel down that route.   The operation in total is around 4/5 hours and will be in hospital around 4/5 days after it.  I certainly wont be hollering to go home am going to get cosy and take my time in there, a lot of drains and other bits and pieces to be looked after so would prefer them to look after it than me.   Just cant wait to wake up after the operation and know that it’s OVER and that my cancer is gone that’s the main thing!

Hope they wont be playing Queenie Eye Oh or Piggy in the Middle with my boobie in Theatre!

Recovery time after they say is 4-6 weeks worst part is that I probably wont be able to drive for that length of time either to me that’s serious cabin fever.   The worst part of the recovery is the arm as opposed to the breast (or non breast or new mound not sure what to call it – lets just call it the thing that is in place of Chloe).  It’s very important to get up and moving ASAP and get movement back in the arm with exercises that they give you etc.

Thats if folks as Midnight Oil tune says “the time has come” get it off, get on with my life.  I am as strong and positive as ever in my mind with the determination to Kick the Shite out of Cancer so don’t fear folks I havent lost it.

Once again sincere thanks to all of you for making the last eight months in a really strange way some of the best months of my life.  I am truly blessed with you all behind me and all the thoughts, prayers, angels, healing powers are all being packed away in my head and brought with me tomorrow.

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS

Dee xx

 

 

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Kicking the Shite out of Tumours Booze Up

Fabulous drawing from Ste 087 2314574

Well time to celebrate nuking the tumours!  Venue the Goat Grill at 8.30 on 13th April – well what can I say but WHAT A NIGHT!!

Booked into a local hotel as folks house had the kids :-) we got dressed and down for a quick drink.  While there Eilish and Kerri glued my nails on (as I have none) my daughter Katie glued my eyelashes on earlier (as have none of those either).  We all hopped into a taxi Jonas, Eilish, Kerri and myself.  Rocked up to the Goat and into the Anvil room at 8.30 awaiting people!  Nothing more nervous than sitting at your own party waiting for people to arrive.  Every time the door opened we were like, okay this is someone but it was the barman or something.  The DJ arrived (fabulous guy and DJ) I went up to introduce myself and said “I am Deirdre I am the person holding the party” he said “Happy Birthday” I said “No it’s not my birthday I have cancer” the poor guy didn’t know where to look then I explained that it was a Cancer Party after finishing chemo – he said he had never done one of those before, told him to add it to his CV!!

People filed in quickly enough to say I felt the most privileged girl in the world is an understatement.  Friends filed in first was a great school friend Kerensa and then on loads of people arrived.  People who I have never even met apart from Facebook that I was so delighted to meet like Emer and her lovely husband Bruce, Tim (my chemo buddy with the orange crocks and his wife Michelle), the lovely lady Anne Redmond who I have also never met and made the effort to come by herself to this party and did not know anyone.  To these people in particular I salute you – you seriously made my night to make the effort! Talking about effort my cousin Kerri Featherstone came all the way from the USA for the event!!!

What can I say I just had a ball people were there that I havent seen in years like my great buddy Karen Meagan (eight years is way too long) and just so many other people just too long a list to mention – Dympna, Ian, Pat, Mauley, Debbie, Ed, Sharon, Jim, Alan, Grainne, Catherine, Mark and on and on and on all who I havent seen in donkeys.  Also my great friend Eileen was celebrating here birthday so we had two things to party for!

I was just blown away and can’t describe the feeling that so many people turned up who have helped me so much over the last few months.  I seriously take so much out of all your friendships and support you will honestly never know just how much it all means to me!

Then the music really started and I went up and made a speech and my brother Colly came up and said a few words.  Only thing I had planned and forgot to do was do what Samantha did in Sex and the City (when she had breast cancer) while making the speech say “fuck its hot” and throw off my wig – I was raging.  However I threw it off on the dance floor a while later and it felt fan fucking tastic – I was roasting!!!!

I’ve never danced so much and we all went nuts on the dance floor with the usual piggy in the middle dances, arms over arms dances, a train and loads of head banging.  I swear my feet were on fire after it and was ordering water instead of vodka (that must be a first).

Hope you enjoy the photos folks.  A huge thanks to Marie McGarvey who went around all night to take photos and she was the last to leave – thanks Marie!!!

 

Has to have been one of the best nights of my life way better than my 21st, 30th and 40th (wow am I over 40?)

Thanks from the bottom of my heart it was truly amazing being on the dance floor with all my friends new and old and them all being so happy that I have done so well through this chemo  crap – ooops getting misty eyed must post this before I get the hanky out!

YOU ROCK!!!!

Morning after photo I was left with my memories and the below!

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