What a weekend!

If you have read my previous blog, you’ll know that Thursday 2nd of May was my 5th cancerversary. I have been living with stage 4, metastatic breast cancer for 5 whole years. It’s quite a milestone.

This weekend, I have ‘celebrated’ in style!

Thursday saw me heading into London with my oldest Daughter, Gracie, to watch ‘Hamilton’ at the Victoria Palace Theatre. It was AMAZING!! I mean, REALLY amazing!! If you get the chance, you HAVE to go!!

Friday night I was at the O2 with a fellow ‘lifer’, Dunise, to see Take That. It was the first time I’ve seen them live and they didn’t disappoint. They were fab! It really took me back to my youth – both school days and nights spent dancing on the bar in Jumping Jacks having an in house competition between the guys in there and us from Hotshots. Never Forget was always the last song of the night and the whole bar would join in with the chorus.

Saturday night was 80’s night at Watford Colosseum. We’ve been going since 2015 and haven’t missed one yet! It’s a good excuse to dust off my tutu and leg warmers and dance the night away. I may have got a little bit tipsy but a little (or lot!) of what you fancy does you good 🤣🤣

Sunday I took my son, Louis, to his last football match of the season. I had the night before hair, a ‘skew with’ head and pink stained eyelids from my 80’s inspired make up but I made it!! I did keep my dark glasses on though 🤣 I had a restful afternoon in the cinema watching Long Shot which was hilarious.

Monday was slower paced. My brother popped in for a cuppa with his family and then I went to the cinema with Becca again – this time we saw Tolkien. I have an unlimited card so go quite a lot. It’s nice to immerse yourself in a film and forget the real world for a while.

So, I have had a fab few days. But, I’m not gonna lie – I’m absolutely shattered! I may have had a granny nap this afternoon 🤣

The next few days will be rest days. Catching up with myself. Nothing new and just a part of my life these days. We often use the ‘spoon theory’ to explain what it’s like living with a chronic illness that can leave you fatigued after doing the smallest activity. One day out usually takes a good couple of days to recover so you can imagine what 4 days has done!

Not moaning though. I’d much rather be busy and am lucky that I can still get on and live my best life. One day that will all change so until then…..

5 years..

5 years!! 5 bloody years!!

It’s madness isn’t it?!

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve had flashbacks of the week that led up to my diagnosis. I remember what I did on what day – even down to the films I watched at home, my brother visiting, and eating the chocolates that he bought round (never too ill for chocolate!).

I remember being signed off from work because I kept bleeding heavily. I went to the doctors so many times between January and April that year but they just gave me mefenamic acid tablets to stop what they thought were heavy periods.

I drove myself to the breast clinic on the Monday of that week. Being told by the doctor that I was basically a hypochondriac and that she’d told me, not quite 6 months before, that I was too young to get breast cancer.

I went to my GP on the Tuesday and he sent me to my local A&E for a platelet transfusion only to be told by doctors there, that they don’t give them out willy nilly!! They were rough and, due to the lack of platelets, when they cannulated me (unnecessarily I should say), my blood went everywhere. It was up my arm, down my leg and over my shoes. Then they sent me home.

My mum took me back to the GP on the Wednesday. She promised to get me seen by a gynaecologist as quick as possible. She also told me that should I start to bleed heavily from any orifice, I was to call for an ambulance. I didn’t think much of it.

Until Friday morning. The 2nd of May 2014.

I was at home, getting the girls ready for school when I started haemorrhaging from my lady bits. I couldn’t get off the toilet. It was pumping out of me. I rang my mum and then I rang an ambulance. I’m not sure how I stayed so calm but I think it was for the girls. Daisy’s dad came and took her to school. Gracie didn’t go but instead followed the ambulance up the M1 (to a different hospital thankfully) with my mum.

The only thing I don’t have, is any sense of time that morning. I have no idea how long it took the ambulance to come – it felt like forever! No idea that I was in the back of it for quite some time before they drove off. No idea how long I was in A&E before I got a bed on a ward.

Until 6pm. That was the time I was told by the same doctor I had seen only a few days before, that I did indeed have breast cancer.

From that moment, time was everything. I didn’t sleep much that night, instead I sat in the corridor talking to one of the nurses. They gave me sleeping pills after that.

The rest, as they say, is history.

When you’re first diagnosed with incurable cancer , you just assume you’re going to die. Your mind goes into overdrive and there’s an urgency to make memories, to get affairs into order, make a will and plan your funeral.

You find a ‘new normal’ – the same but different way of life. You learn to live with never ending hospital appointments, scanxiety, medication side effects, fatigue, pain and depression.

But, as time goes on, I know I’m lucky.

I’ve lost many friends to this disease. Some diagnosed before me, some after. There aren’t any rules where cancer is concerned. Some of my friends have had progression, had to start chemo again, have surgery. I can’t help but feel a little guilty.

I feel incredibly lucky to have been stable for as long as I have. I don’t know what I’m doing but long may it last.

5 years ago I was given 6 months to live. Isn’t life crazy.