Aches & Pains & A Fluffy Face

I am growing a bloody beard! For months I have been a smooth alien looking woman and now, now, I have mutton chops!

Ok, I might be going slightly overboard right now but geez, my face certainly is a lot fluffier than it ever was. I hope I wont be needing to borrow Dr Hands’ razor!

Seriously though, it is from one extreme to another. I am thinking I really might have to wax it or use depilatory cream or something. It is very fine and very blonde but it gets blown around in the wind! I can feel it moving. I think I can almost run my fingers through my new beard!

I’ll let you know how I get on. On a better note, my hair is looking amazing. It is still short but is growing very thick. I am using Nioxin Shampoo and Conditioner and my amazing friend Nicole bought this awesome product called Activance for me.

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I use 20 sprays per day and I am sure that is what is thickening my hair. Maybe some of it has dripped onto my cheeks and caused my mutton chops to grow??

Onto the Aches and Pains. Well, they’re still there.

The theracucumin doesn’t seem to have worked. Neither has the nurofen plus, nurofen, tramadol, panadene forte (although this did assist with some awful headaches I had experienced) or panadol. I am now taking fish oil capsules and have all of my hopes on these massive things. Have you seen the size of a fish oil capsule before? Well, the damn thing almost takes up my whole mouth!

And another thing. It says on the pack that there is no added gluten. What the hell is that supposed to mean. Is there or is there not gluten? All of the brands said the same thing except for one very cheap and nasty home brand looking thing. I ask the chemist lady and she advised that it was in fact gluten free. Well, why doesn’t it just say this?? It is so frustrating being a coeliac that I have to determine what ‘no added gluten’ means.

So, I chose Blackmores brand and I’ll let you know how I go.

Oh, I best tell you about the aches and pains hey? Well, I spoke to Dr Sid about it yesterday and explained it is mainly in my shoulders and neck but I sometimes feel the discomfort in my toes and hips. He said it is very unusual to suffer these pains which confused me because all of my research suggests that it is quite common.

The best way to explain it is that I feel like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. I feel like I need a good oiling in my joints to get me moving again.

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OMG I sound like I am 100 years old!!

I’m not. I just turned 44 only five days ago. Happy Birthday Toooooooo Me 🙂

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Fingers crossed that the next time I talk to you, I’ll be complaining of my Rapunzel length head hair, bragging about my smooth bald face and enjoying loose and pain free joints.

Peace Out!

My New Head

This is a photo of me on December 31 2015, as previously posted on ‘The Year That Was’

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Here is my photo today, 18th of January 2016.

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CHECK OUT MY HAIR AND EYEBROWS!! They came back woot woot.

Now, just waiting for my eyelashes to come through nice and long and luxurious (dreaming here but a girl can hope).

Bits of Information

  • The chickens all have names – Steffie Forrester, Caroline and Brooke
  • Brady has been depressed because of Steffie Forrester, Caroline and Brooke because I go into the coop without him and he is jealous
  • It has been 18 days since I have consumed alcohol
  • There are only six days until I will be enjoying a glass or two of bubbles with my girlfriends for our Annual Australia Day catch up which is being held on the 24th of January this year
  • I am still waking up around 6am each morning (not by choice, my eyes just open and body is ready to get moving)
  • I had to pluck my eyebrows two days ago because the little hairs are growing back
  • My cow lick came back with my hair! grrrr
  • I purchased Theracucumin as recommended to help ease the bone and joint pain associated with my new medication Tamoxifen and it is working!

 

Tamoxifen

Lets talk about this new drug that I started taking 8 days ago.

Tamoxifen.

This drug is designed to blog the hormone, estrogen, which is what caused the breast cancer in the first place apparently.

I’ll start with the conversation with my amazing (and a little bit spunky) Dr Sid Selva.

He started the discussion with the fact that I’ll be taking it for ten years. Then he bored me with the details of what it does and how it may prevent further cancer blah blah blah. Then, he got to the side effects.

Now, anyone who has persisted in reading my blogs will know that I don’t use the term ‘side effects’ and instead call them feelings. Well, these are side effects.

When he started listing these side effects, I thought to myself…

“If this was a game show, I’d be the bloody champion because I already have all of these side effects without even taking the drug…. go me!!”

So, I started telling Dr Selva what I already had, and that I was way ahead of the Tamoxifen side effects. Here are the ones I have already….

  •  Weight Gain
  •  Irritability
  •  Reduced Sex Drive
  •  Hot flashes
  •  Anxiety
  •  Confusion
  •  Sweating
  •  Absent Periods (Yippeeeeeee)
  • Hair Loss or Thinning Hair
  • Inability to keep or get an erection (I put this in because it was on the fact sheet LOL

So, as you can see, I have quite the list already and I hadn’t even started the drug yet.

Now, for the interesting thing he said…

  •  Dry Vagina

What?

I said to the doctor (because when I think things they often shoot out of my mouth without any filter),

“is my vagina supposed to be like a dogs nose?”

Dr Selva, who I have never seen flustered or lost for words just sat there and looked at me with the biggest eyeballs I had ever seen. Ooops, wrong question perhaps?

I was getting worried internally thinking, OMG, I have had a problem with my vagina since forever because it is never ‘damp’ or ‘wet’ constantly. Maybe that is what those little panty liner things are for that I keep seeing advertised and never understood. Why has no one ever told me I should have a wet vagina?

Thankfully, Dr Selva explained the term ‘dry vagina’ refers to not being able to moisten during intercourse. OMG, how embarrassing! I could feel my entire face and body turning a lovely shade of beetroot!

We moved on pretty quickly after this topic.

Right, next we will look at what happened when I actually purchased my tamoxifen.

There is a lovely young fellow at the local pharmacy who covers for Mary on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It was him that I saw to get this medication and he asked if it was my first time using it. I stated it was and that I would be on it for ten years and he says….

“Did the doctor discuss pregnancy and tamoxifen with you?”

Oh man, this happens to me waaaay to often, I really need to lose weight so I said, that isn’t an issue as there will be no more pregnancies for me. I stated I was too old for that. Usually I let the person know that I am just fat and not pregnant but I didn’t want to fluster my already flustered pharmacist so I left it at that.

So, I have now been on this medication for eight days and OMG, the side effects are INCREDIBLE. Well, there are a couple that aren’t but seriously, the main side effects are awesome.

I have always been a sleeper. I could easily sleep 12 to 16 hours if I wanted and often, I did want! Now, I am awake before 6am and I mean, really awake. I am ready to roll.

The energy I have is also incredible. Yesterday, I was up at 5:50am, had some coffees, played some computer games and out of no where, I decided to take Brady to the beach. I live in the Adelaide Hills so it isn’t a five minute drive to the beach but off we went. I forgot to put a bra on, lost a shoe at the beach (it is still there at Aldinga Beach South Australia somewhere. I left it’s partner on the picnic bench so if someone finds one shoe, they can go on a hunt for the other hehe) but, Brady and I had the best time. We walked and walked and he chased the tennis ball in and out of the water.

I am also feeling incredibly happy and social so I popped into the future in laws house on the way home, had a cuppa, chat, play with the dogs and off I went again.

Once home, I had my breakfast, vacuumed the floors, mopped the floors, cleaned the main bathroom and toilet, cleaned kitchen, roasted tomatoes in preparation to make passata (tomato sauce for pasta) and also cooked dinner!

  1.  I don’t wash floors (Sam does it)
  2.  Rarely do I cook dinner (Sam usually does it)
  3.  Once in over a year have I cleaned the main bathroom (Sam does it)
  4.  I have never made a home made tomato sauce
  5.  I am usually exhausted after only one of the above activities

So, all week I have risen from bed on or before 6am naturally except on Wednesday. I did wake before 6am but that was due to a horrible headache. Yes, this is another side effect from the Tamoxifen as well as incredible joint and bone pain. I am taking panadol for this but a lady on the Adelaide Breast Cancer Friendship Group site recommended I take Theracucumin with a pinch of black pepper for the pain. I will be hunting this down today because I do not fancy taking panadol every four hours for the next ten years.

Boy, that was quite a long post! Sorry if I have bored you but this is how much energy I have. Even my fingers are going crazy with energy that I just keep typing LOL.

I shall leave you now with another acklompishment for the week. Managing to get both dogs to sleep on their beds at the same time in the same room. They usually sleep on the sofa (before being found out and shooed off) or the carpet. Finally, they are on their beds.

Thinking of the year that was….

I started 2015 with a smile on my face. I was so happy and fortunate and loved.

Thankfully, I am ending this year with a smile on my face because I am happy, fortunate and loved.

Ok, there was a bump on the way.

We got over the bump.

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I have been made aware of so many things this year. The first thing being that Sam is there for me, through sickness and in health. He was there for me each and every day to ensure I was loved, fed, clean, medicated and positive. Sam made me laugh, took in all of the medical information, made learning about breast cancer his project and even sang silly songs to me. He drove me to each and every chemotherapy appointment, surgeon appointment, many of the radiation appointments and the endless trips to the chemist.

I have made new friends, been reunited with old friends, lost a couple of friends, felt the love of so many wonderful people. I have seen amazing and selfless sides of many people as well.

Naturally, I can’t name each and every person who has touched my heart this year but please know, you probably are one of them.

I started the year with two boobs, a head of long hair, a little lighter but I am ending this year with more knowledge, empathy, understanding and patience than I had at the beginning. I now know the amazing lengths people go to too help someone facing a very frightening illness. I have been incredibly fortunate to have an amazing group of people surrounding me.

I didn’t get cancer this year. I was diagnosed this year. According to my surgeon, the cancer had been in my body for a couple of years. I will not see 2015 as ‘the year I got cancer’ but it will be the year that Sam and I fought the disease in my body as far as I am concerned, we won.

The biggest standout of the year is pretty obvious to me. It was being told I had breast cancer. Everything that followed those words happened so fast and there was always something going on weather it was surgery, drains, those bloody dreadful and shitty hemorrhoids, nausea, fatigue, chemotherapy, baldness, radiation therapy, burns, blisters, but it was my ultra sound and mammogram appointment that I’ll never forget.

Do you make New Year Resolutions? I am a bit wishy washy when it comes to them but this year I have a long list of health related changes for my new year. Be warned, I am giving up alcohol. Blogs may actually start to make sense hehe.

There will be less processed foods, goodbye to sugar, hello to daily activity (I have the neighbours exersize bike in my lounge room ready and waiting), and I am going to smile a lot! I will continue with my positive attitude, growing salads and vegetables, drinking a lot of water and helping anyone who needs it.

This New Years Eve will be spent with our lovely neighbours at what I am hoping, will be the 1st of many street/neighbourhood parties.

My thoughts this year will be with health of my amazing family and friends, feeling proud of the amazing daughter I have, loving that amazing man of mine, drinking my last drink for a while and enjoying the fact I am here to celebrate another New Year.

Thank you to everyone for being with me this year either in person or in writing and your thoughts.

I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Much love………

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Do I Have Cancer?

This is the question I asked my Radiologist, Professor Martin Borg. Here is his answer.

We hope not.

My response is…

So, you can’t tell me that I don’t have cancer.

He, thankfully, was honest and said no.

Unfortunately, he can’t say I am cancer free. He said that after two years, if no cancer has come back, then I am cancer free.

What really sucks is that I have a 1 in 20 chance of getting it back.

Sounds ok compared to 1 in 3 chance if I hadn’t had radiotherapy.

Imagine being in a room with 19 other people and one of you doesn’t get to walk out. That is a pretty scary thing.

My amazing Professor Borg has said to me, don’t think about it. If you do, you will tie yourself in knots. He has advised I maintain a healthy lifestyle and remember all of the work I have done to prevent and rid myself of cancer.

I am thinking I will start this healthy lifestyle in January. Who on earth starts it in December, and Mid December at that??

Bottoms up I say…. until January.

Anyhoo, I had my usual 8 zaps of radiation today but a nurse snaffled me before I could leave. Before I could even get out of my gown and says she needs to see me due to my skin issues.

The issue, being said skin, is bloody disgusting now. It is slimy and yuck every morning, incredibly painful when I shower and then add all of the creams needed which make me almost scream trying to apply it. So she says, lets pad it.

I kid you not, this padding came from a Tena Lady Pad packet in a roll! So, I now walk around as a bald fat budda with a sanitary napkin attached to my neck!

One day soon I am going to get to the good bit of weight loss, amazing hair growth, some eye brows and lashes and energy. That is obviously not today.

My Amazing Saturday

My amazing Saturday is thanks to so many people. I am imagining myself, right now, on a pedestal (this will not surprise anyone who knows me) giving the speak on a particular day of the week that was amazing.

Lets start with Saturday morning.

Well, I lay in bed until 11am due to a kick arse hangover thanks to Brady. He didn’t know when to tell me when to stop. So I drank and drank and drank and he said nothing. He just loved me like he always does.

Here is Brady for those of you that don’t know him.

IMG_0003I am posting this photo because he is not aloud on the sofa. He only does this when I am drinking and I find it so cute and adorable and instead of telling him to get off the sofa, I take photos of him instead 🙂

So anyhoo, I finally got out of bed with said hangover, had a shower, listened to Sam talk AT me about being hungover and then I had a guest visitor by the name of Uncle Mark.

No, he is not my Uncle but is my daughters Uncle on her fathers side. Did you get that? Anyway, he has always been ‘Uncle Mark’ to me since Accalia (said daughter) was born which is 22 years now. He came to visit me 🙂 He drove all the way from the other side of town, battled the city road works (he is not a patient driver) and headed up to the country and not only did he visit but he had a gift for me too.

Oh, this is Uncle Mark and my gorgeous daughter on her 18th Birthday.

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Anyhoo, like I was saying, he also bought me a present. It was wrapped in gorgeous green wrapping paper and was kind of the shape of a box. I totally thought he had bought me a puppy but this was not to be. The only thing better than a puppy is ……….BUBBLES!

And not just one bottle of Jacobs Creek Trilogy Sparkling Wine but 6 of the amazing bottles!! SIX BOTTLES!! My eye balls nearly popped out of my head! Thank you Uncle Mark not only for coming all this way to visit Sam and I but also for the bubbles, funny stories, laughs and chats. It was great to see you and can’t wait to see you and your team on Friday 🙂 *special mention to Veronica **Aka Bez, Berry, Bezalicious** for confirming to Uncle Mark what it is that I drink gallons off xx

The Wedding!

Seriously, this was a beautiful and amazing wedding. They all are I know I know but this one was different for me.

This wedding I was going there as a bald, burnt and cancer recovering woman with pretty finger nails and amazing Fiancee. 1st stop was to book a love shack, I mean, hotel room, because this wedding was well over an hour away from where we live. Thankfully, cousin Linda and her hubby Reuben were on hand to collect us from the side of the road and take us to the wedding. Check out the Bride and Groom. Tell me she doesn’t look like Princess Mary!!?? OMG, totally gorgeous couple and totally cute baby Isabella-Rose!

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I asked bride Tania to give me a royal wave and she did. The groom is my cousin Andrew Martin and obviously, their gorgeous baby is my 2nd cousin. I could just gobble her up. Look at her walking down the aisle.

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I had received so many hugs and kisses from my amazing and supportive family that I had to remind myself that this day was NOT about me but about the gorgeous and newly married couple.

My poor suffering but loving Sam was there by my side. He not only was by my side but could tell when it was a bit too much and I needed air or a rest. He really is amazing. Sam isn’t the most social person, and would much prefer to be at home but suffers through my begging and pleading that I do every so often to join me in these events.

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Here we are, two amazing people who have had a pretty trying year and two people who are going to be looking at their health and well being in the new year. hehe

You know how at weddings, there is the bridal dance, and then the father daughter dance and then everyone dances…. well, I am used to sitting these out but blow me down but did my man hold his hand out and offer the dance to me. I almost cried. I can’t do that though because it might mess up my eye make up LOL. That is a joke because I have no eye lashes or eyemake up. Anyhoo, cousin Linda took this photo which I absolutely love!

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Ok, I might look like an Alien and I have never ever seen Sam smile in a photo (Thanks Linda for getting him at the right moment) (He was giving my cousin Linda the finger!) but I love it. He asked me to dance!

Speaking of my cousin Linda…. Well, it turns out that she stayed right until the end of the night just for me. I was having a hoot of a time, even though I got a little tired occasionally (from my amazing Beyonce dancing) and her husband (who is a truck driver and had only had 1/2 hour sleep before the wedding) was sleeping in the car, she let me have a good time. Both Linda and Sam were happy for me to enjoy my night and they didn’t end it soon as I am sure they had both wanted too.

Oh, check out this gorgeous photo of my mum and I. Thank you to Sam for taking it 🙂

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Here is my cousin Tamara (Sister of the groom) and I. Keep in mind it is the end of the night and my eyes and skin have turned a bit yellow/orange.

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At the end of the night, Cousin Linda with sleepy husband Reuben drove Sam and I back to our hotel room and Granny hitched a lift. Now, I recon Granny is about 86 years old (possibly a year or two older) and after Sam had HOISTERED her into the four wheel drive, we set off. I happened to mention an incident that occurred when I was about 6 or so.

Keep in mind that our Granny has 13 Grandchildren and I dont know how many great grandchildren. Anyway, So I say, hey Gran, remember when you smacked me for My Sister cracking her head open?

Without a beat Granny says to me, Well I told you NOT to go out the gate but you did and you went to Mr Smalls house next door. Wowza, transported back to being a kid and I almost burst into bloody tears waiting for a smack. Granny was not a bit smacker but I got a smack for this and told to wait outside while my sister, Annette, was fixed up. That woman, Granny, is absolutely bloody amazing.

This is Granny. (thank you Ali for letting me take the photo you took of her, oh, Ali, do you mind if I use this pic?)

Granny

I think it is safe to say that I had an amazing time at the wedding. I had even sent a message to the bride and groom prior to the wedding day asking if it was ok for me to be bald at their wedding. They lovingly said they didn’t care if I was bald or hairy so that made me feel a whole lot better.

Thanks to chemo, I seem to have entered early menopause and this causes a lot of hot flushes and having anything on my head is more of an irritant than anything else. Anyway, I don’t need to look at myself while attending events so it works well. I just have to be ready when I see any photos that yes, that is me looking like the alien.

Thankfully I am comfortable being bald and find it more pleasurable and comfortable than anything else. My amazing friend Kathy Tilling has sent me her wig in case I need it and I have many scarfs for head coverings. I am incredibly fortunate but for the time being, bald is best 🙂

This weekend has been incredible. I think it may take me a week to get over the dancing, drinking, laughter and happy tears but it will have all been worth it to see an amazing couple unite as one.

Thank you again Uncle Mark for your visit and very thoughtful gift.

Thank you to the ‘Royal Couple’ for having us attend such a beautiful and amazing event.

Thank you to mum for taking me out the day before for a bit of pampering.

Thank you to Linda and Roobs for the lifts to and from the event, to Linda for the laughs and chats (Sam said he is really not that quiet, he just couldn’t get a bloody word in between you and I hehe), Roobs for sleeping in the car to make sure I had a good time.

Most of all, thank you to my Sam (Dr Hands) for being there by my side, for taking some photos for me, looking out for me, piling me with bubbles, dancing with me and loving me.

 

 

Radiation Burns!

Photo on 11-12-2015 at 8.09 pmI thought chemo was bad but look at this burn. What you can’t see is the blisters that have popped and are now open wounds. I have a wedding to attend tomorrow and I have this kickarse burn with peeling and blisters. Lovely look hey?

Yes, I am thankful for my life and that surgery, chemo and radiation therapy have saved my life but geez, this really kinda hurts.

Photo on 11-12-2015 at 8.09 pm #2Both photos show the burn but not the blisters. Anyhoo, I’ll take it over anything worse.

Last night, I finished a book I had started the other night. I had almost read the whole book on Tuesday night but decided, for what ever reason, to not finish it until last night. Well, let me tell you, I bawled and bawled my eyeballs out. Ok, not literally **spoiler allert** , like in the book – but I have not cried like that since eight months ago when I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

So, heads up on what not to read while dealing with any type of cancer is this.

Fault

What made me NOT buy this book initially was the name of the author. He cant help that he was born with the shittest name ever. This is the name of my ‘sperm donor’ that I have nothing to do with. This was the reason I put my back to this book for so long but eventually, it wore me down and I bought it.

Who the hell buys a book about a cancer person while dealing with cancer? That would be me hehe. I thought I had dealt with everything and could get through this book without a tear. I dislike teenagers which is what this book is based on, which is another plus to avoid tears.

Well blow me down with a feather but did I burst the dam last night. I cried and cried and cried at the end of this book. Keep in mind that I am not an overly emotional person!

To cry over a book that some dude called, unfortunately, John Green, wrote, had me in tears over teenagers is totally inconceivable. But I did. I cried so much and for over an hour. Totally exhausting but do you think Dr Hands woke once? Nope.

I shant blame him though because I did quite sobs. I totally recommend this book to anyone who needs a great laugh and a super cry. This dude with the shittest name is quite the author. I just pity him that he was given this name. I also forgive him.

Right, following all this, my amazing and gorgeous mum took me out today to cheer me up with a manicure and painted nails followed by coffee and a gluten free cheese and butter muffin. I didn’t think I was up to this but man, this made my week! I had an absolute blast today with my mum – having laughs, pampering, coffees and muffins and genuine love.

This is what life is about isn’t it? Loving and smiling and laughing no matter what is going on.

Love that mum of mine xx

Here is one of my favorite photos of my mum and my sister Annette. xx

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