You’re So Vain….

When I was younger, I was amazing. I was gorgeous. No one could resist me. Just ask the younger me and that is what she would say. I was blonde, very thin and naive. I was dopey which, apparently guys loved as much as a slim waist.

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Obviously as one grows older, they grow outter (larger) sometimes, wrinklier, fatter etc.

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Me? Well, I never thought I would be anything other than amazing. I really wasn’t even that amazing but at the time? Well, I thought I was amazing and that is all that matters.

Today, a friend of Dr Hands came to the door but I thought he was a local council worker and answered the door. He asked if Sam was home and looked at me as though he knew me. I felt disgusting. Seriously. I have a fluff of hair on either side of my head with nothing in the middle like an old man. I have two large sores on my face from disgusting pimples that could not be hidden even if I were a super model. I have no eye lashes or eye brows. Tears running from my eyes.

It is now that I feel disgusting. I feel like a cancer patient. Previously I have been proud of my bald head and face showing that I am going to be a survivor of breast cancer. That I was too proud to cover up……. I didn’t care that I had not one hair on my body and the tears that streamed down my face were chemotherapy related and the sores on my face and arms were from what ever caused them to chemo not allowing them to heal.

Today, after Dr Hands friend left I almost put a spot light on his face asking him a series of questions like – Did your friend know I was sick or does he think I choose to look this way?

Poor Dr Hands, who was actually pleased to have a visitor was like a deer in the headlights saying yes honey, he knows you are sick and that no, you do not choose to look that way.

Over the years, I have gone from a size 8 to a size None of your Business but big.  I have had excuses or hand waves for this but now, I feel vain. I feel so effin ugly that it isn’t even funny now.

I dont want sympathy or confirmation that I am a great person etc but shit, this really sucks.

I remember on one of my birthdays that an Aunt said to me, “you do not appreciate your looks or figure” and man, she was right. I didn’t appreciate my looks or figure  but I sure do now…..

No, I do not want to be supermodel gorgeous but this is not what I expected my later life to be.

How many of us have had a wonderful teenage and mid twenties look that we though would never end? Well, as my wonderful Aunt said, you do not appreciate your looks or figure” – maybe we should appreciate our good looks, health, energy and sex drive while we have it 🙂

I shall now inundate you with prettier photos of me than today 🙂

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Mum and Accalia
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Amanda Fishing

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Ok. so that last photo of Sam and I isn’t exactly pretty but it does remind me that I thought I was pretty, amazing and what not but today, that is not the situation.

Today I have an old mans head. Hair on the left. Hair on the right. Nothing in the middle. Three bright red pimple spots (sores do not heal fast with chemo/cancer treatment).

ANYHOO — I just want everyone to know (if you give a hooot) that I haven’t blogged recently for two reasons.

1 – A very special person who I love very deeply has been diagnosed with cancer. We haven’t an answer how bad or rampant it is but it has stopped me in my tracks. I love you girl and I wait for each and every result. This is not my story to tell but just know, I think of you each and every day and wish I could hug you until you were all better

2 – I have been feeling a bit out of sorts myself not just because of above but because there is still so much more to do. Yes, my chemo is finished and everyone thinks I should be shouting it from the rooftops and I get this. But, I have 8 months worth of herceptin left to go and 33 treatments of of radiation therapy. It isn’t over for me and I do not feel the joy that those do that post all of those wonderful pics of themselves with placards of last chemo treatment etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally all for those women who post those pics of their last chemo etc. It is just not me. I have too much more I have to do before I can celebrate. I have herceptin and surgery and radiation etc.

Anyhoo, Today, enjoy every single minute of it. Are you at work? Enjoy and embrace the fact you have a job. Can you see sunshine? Rain? Thunderstorms? Be happy you can see the weather. Have no hair to brush? Feel off your food? Constipated? Hemorrhoids? Diarrhea? Cry! Yell. Scream. You are alive to feel and live these things. I am not terminal and that, that, makes me smile through all of the pain, the torture, the agony.

Smile.

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My two besties Tracey and Nicole

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My gorgeous girls – Accalia my daughter and Stacey her gorgeous girlfriend xx

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See the way this ‘bitch’ looks at me when she is with Sam? Yeah, Well, Kelly (the bitch) and I are besties now hehe. This photo was from when I first moved in with Sam. Look at her unimpressed face… hehhe i totally love this photo

Me and My Enemy.

Have I mentioned I suffer anxiety and panic disorder? It is ‘controlled’ by medication but it will never be ‘cured’ unless I face it head on (according to my awesome Dr Sunita).

The issue with curing it is finding a shrink that I actually like… but that is a whole other story so i’ll leave that for later.

In the mean time, anxiety is now popping back into my life on a regular basis and I HATE it. Like, seriously HATE it. I dont use the word ‘hate’ often but with this shit crap illness called anxiety and panic disorder, hate comes up a lot.

The thing is, I have been medicated for years to keep it at bay and haven’t thought much of it until this Cancer bizzo. Since this word cancer has popped into my life, so has the anxiety and panic disorder and the medication doesn’t seem to ‘suppress’ it as it used to.

I am a pretty relaxed, easy going, take it as it comes, kinda person with or without the medication. So, to have this crap come back into my life, not being able to sail my way through it, really pisses me off a lot.

Here is how dopey I am. Way back when the anxiety first started, I’d never heard of such a thing and assumed I was ‘allergic’ to large malls and supermarket air-conditioning because, I felt fine until I went into these places. No, I was not a youngin’ with no experience in life. I was a mum of a almost one year old, making me about 22 years old.

It wasn’t until my hairdresser, a few years later, who I often booked and cancelled and booked again, then huffed and puffed through the appointment, pointed out that it seemed I really suffered anxiety disorder. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking but all the ‘feelings’ she discussed were exactly as my ‘allergies’ to the air-conditioners.

The tightness of my chest, difficulty breathing, thinking I was going to faint/pass out, fevers, dizziness, nausea, did I mention the tightness of my chest? It is horrible. Unless you have been there, there is no way you can understand the intense feelings. There was often no way of talking my way out of these feelings. I would often think I was going to die, right there and then. Or vomit, right there at the deli counter at Coles. Faint, at the entrance of a large shopping mall.

The one thing that helped. The once question asked of me from a doctor was ‘What do you think is the absolute worst thing that will happen’ and my answer was ‘I will faint’. She advised me that the body is so amazing that if I did faint, it would be due to lack of oxygen (holding my breath) and that fainting would then put my body into a relaxed state enough to start oxygenating itself naturally again.

Of course, me being me, said that it wasn’t so much the fainting that bothered me but what if I wet myself, like ewe! Now, who gives a hoot if I faint and wet myself. That doesn’t worry me anymore and thankfully, am no longer ‘allergic’ to shopping centers or malls.

I booked into a doctor and discussed this information and yep, she/he (no, I can’t remember) prescribed anti depressants and off I went. Twenty years later, having been on and off medication, I am still suffering it seems. But, I am on the medication now so how is the anxiety sneaking through?

Who knows but what I do know is that I hate it. Tonight it is especially bad.

Crisis averted. One of the ‘Real Housewives of Meadows’ popped over (approx 11pm ish) and a few more glasses of bubbles later and all is good.

Anyway though, I just want to say that I would hate hate hate for anyone to say to me, oh the anxiety and/or panic disorder would be normal in my current condition. Well no, I do not accept that. Cancer, death, cold winters, short of money, they can all cause an anxiety issue and I will not accept that anxiety will be more prominent in my life while dealing with the Breast Cancer issue and Chemo and peoples opinions and reduced income and sickness and worry etc. I want anxiety gone from my life now. I have had my time and that should now be up.

I think I will look more into resolving and getting over this anxiety bizzo in the coming week. Now, being almost 1am on a Friday night/Saturday Morning is not the time to find a ‘cure’ for me.

What I am thankful off is Sam. I can walk up to Sam at anytime, day or night, busy or lazy, and tell him that today, today is not a good day and the anxiety is taking a hold and he will wrap me in his arms, kiss me gently and ask if he can do anything. The answer is always no but just that moment, that feeling of security is all I need for that time.

Well, that was all a bit full on tonight wasn’t it? Sorry for that outpouring of what ever it was. All done now 🙂

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Hugs and Kissses from Dr Hands xxx

Breast Cancer V’s Anxiety

I have suffered anxiety for a few years now but has been maintained by medication and in all honesty, I haven’t really thought about it. My medication, great positive mindset, positive outlook, wonderful family, daughter, partner has seen me though.

My stage three breast cancer was diagnosed and confirmed 8th of April, 2015 and in all honesty, I don’t feel that it has affected me since I found it hadn’t spread further than my lymph nodes. The worst part of this experience beside finding out I had breast cancer was the agonising wait to see how far this cancer had spread. We (Sam and I) knew it had spread to the lymph nodes but there was a good chance it had spread to my lungs, my brain, kidneys etc. Unless you have been through this part of the cancer wait, you will have no idea how excruciating the wait can be to find out exactly where the cancer is.

It has since occurred to me that my anxiety has increased in the last week. So, today it is the 7th of May and that marks a month since I have known I had breast cancer. Everything had been a whirlwind since diagnosis.

There were surgeon appointments, body scan appointments, surgery booked, boobectimy and lymph node surgery, a week in hospital, recovery etc. There hasn’t been a moment to even think about what has gone on.

Today it occurred to me that the anxiety I have suffered for years is back with a vengeance. Where is Bruce Willis when I need him? Well, I don’t actually need him because I have my own superhero called Sam Wilkinson. My future husband. The man who has saved my life by detecting the breast cancer. The man who hasn’t left my side since diagnosis. The man who was there by my side in hospital every moment available.

What Sam can’t fix is the anxiety that is creeping through my veins. The anxiety that makes me snap at him and the dogs and even my gorgeous little Summer who comes to visit. Thankfully I can tell it is there, it is coming out and I can stop it but it doesn’t stop how I feel. I feel unsettled. I feel agitated and, of course, anxious. I have, like I said, my superhero Sam and my ever patient Summer to forgive my grumpiness and short temper.

I forgot to mention the other day that Summer asked where my ‘skipping rope’ had gone. This is the long tube that sucked the disgusting fluid from my wound through a tube (that is the skipping rope) into the bottle. I explained to Summer that my blood was now lovely and healthy again and she went onto explain that her blood was also nice and healthy and she didn’t need the skipping rope and bottle either.

My new doctor at the local GP clinic had asked me last Saturday about seeing a shrink about dealing with the breast cancer and boobectimy and I was shocked. I looked from Sam to Doctor and advised I didn’t need a shrink for this, I am coping A OK. I was doing great. No shrink needed thanks. I even had a giggle at the thought that the doctor thought I even needed this.

Well, it seems as though I do need this.

I can deal with the boob being cut off and thrown away. I can deal with my friend Summers version of my little boob (the nipple) being cut off and thrown away too. My surgeon is certain he has gotten all of the cancer out of my body. So what on earth am I anxious about?

My doctor today confirmed I am HER2 positive and whilst I don’t know much about it, I do know that anything on top of breast cancer and lymph node cancer, having HER2 positive can’t be good but I brushed it off. I said, oh dear Mr K, thats not cool hey? He replied with, a few years ago, having the HER2 diagnosis wouldn’t have been good but today, you are looking at a long and healthy life.

So, why am I suffering increased anxiety?

I am taking the anxiety medication that I have taken for years. It is the highest dosage I can have so what happens next? I dont want to be snappy because it comes across as ungrateful. I am not ungrateful and do not want to be seen as ungrateful. Is it not enough to deal with stage 3 breast cancer, lymph node cancer, HER2 positive, being overweight, about to lose all my hair and add to that increased anxiety?

Why can’t champagne be the medication to beat all of this? Why can’t I go to the chemo centre and they put a few bottles of Moet or Mumm or Trilogy in front of me, served by a topless and buff man with a cheese, caviar, crab meat, picked squid and a gluten free cracker platter? I am almost certain this would cure my anxiety issues.

In any case.  I think I’ll see my new local GP and ask again about this ‘care plan’ to have a shrink. A care plan is something the government offers that costs tax payers (others would say free but yes, I do know where these so called ‘free’ services come from) and get onto the shrink option and see how I can deal with this increased anxiety.

It kinda also seems trivial to complain about anxiety through this. Like saying, oh wow, I have a headache … sounds absolutely pathetic and not worth discussing seeing as though I have breast cancer and am fighting the fight of my life. Why bring up a headache, a tooth ache, it all seems quite trivial doesn’t it?

What I am happy about today are as follows…

*  lots of hugs and kind words from the wonderful people at my work who really meant what they said

*  my wonderful man who accepts the anxiety as a part of the journey of breast cancer and doesn’t dismiss it

*  organising a huge get together of my mum and mother in law , daughter and her partner to celebrate mothers day

*  having the mountains of fluid syringed from my body to prevent infection

*  comfortably admitting anxiety is coming on strong and ready to take it on and do something about it

*  to have a beautiful and comfortable home to recuperate in through my chemo adventure

Oh Shit! Just went over 1K words for this blog, there is no chance my lovely men Sam and Ian W will read this through…. way too long for them xx