Through My Eyes

Some people say I talk too much, that I always have a story to tell. I don't know what's round the corner so my blog is about life through my eyes and making every day count.

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

More NHS let downs 

In previous posts I have talked about many experiences with the NHS good and bad, I have referred back to experiences I have had when dealing with Breast Cancer but also experiences I have regularly with my daughters asthma problems. 
So here we are again, being g in hospital is not unusual for Megan. As mentioned in previous posts we have regular trips to the hospital with wheezing and chest issues. This year it has escalated to a new level and a lot more serious. When things get more serious and more life threatening it means I rely on the experts more to help me and Megan and get her the best treatment in the fastest time possible. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened this time and I feel due to massive NHS failures we have ended up back in ICU in a very serious condition. 

Without going into detail of each individual situation I have witnessed so many floors in the system that I wonder why I pay my national insurance. I have witnessed A&E doctors yawning throughout examining patients and complain of being tired. I have witnessed doctors looking at X-rays and missing the fact there’s a huge infection on a lung. 6 hour waiting times in A&E with a girl having an asthma attack left untreated. The list goes on. Its worrying when it takes 10 minutes or less for a child to die of asthma. It’s so worrying and the reality is that it’s not Getting any better, I read on the news weekly about various cuts being made to funding, hospitals being closed, services cut. Staff work all ours for very little pay and then are so tired they are putting people’s lives at risk, I pay my taxes yet it seems the more we pay the less we get. Don’t get me wrong the NHS do some amazing things and it’s not all bad, I give credit to the staff that work all hours and save lives and do wonderful things. Unfortunately I can’t say I have experienced anything positive lately and it really makes me concerned about the future of our health service 

Results are back….

So the 3 month wait for my genetic  test result is over….

Got the letter the other day to say I don’t have the gene that means I’m more prone to getting cancer back. Obviously I’m more at risk anyway but I’m not going to worry about that, the fact it’s not genetic is a huge weight off my shoulders and reduces the chances of it returning so happy days!! 

It’s a good job really because I start a new job Monday and at my interview I told them I’m perfectly fine now. Of course that’s not a lie and i was as honest as I could be but imagine if the genetic test had come back positive and I had to have more preventive operations, that would have been rubbish for both me and my new employer so I’m so glad it’s one less thing to worry about when I start my new job Monday!! 

When my results came in I was so pleased but it did leave me thinking about the people who were opening letters to say Otis genetic for them, it brings a whole new worry in itself and must be so hard to have to deal with that and the revisions that come with it. It’s life changing for so many reasons, some people may be forced to have operations they didn’t expect to ever have, other ladies may want children or more children and genetic cancer can really effect decisions like that. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about that for the time bein but really sympathising with the people that do. 

I’m The start of a new normal!

Defining the word normal is not easy, what is normal to one person is strange to another.

When I got told I had to have a mastectomy I was not upset at all, I was more annoyed at the inconvenience that and in my mind the sooner I had it done the sooner I could get back to normal. You get assigned a Macmillan nurse when you get cancer, someone who is there at any time to answer any questions you have or just for general support. My
nurse said to me that after my operation I need to find a new normal. At the time I thought what a strange comment but it’s only now I fully understand what she meant.

Nights out for me didn’t happen very often but when they did I would be known for wearing the shortest dress and biggest heels! I love clothes so getting dressed up was a real treat!
So New year this year I decided I was well enough for a night out…..2 hours later after trying on 10 dresses I chucked on a pair of jeans and some heels and was ready.
There’s nothing better than putting on a little dress, looking in the mirror at a great figure and feeling a million dollars, going out knowing you will turn heads. Sounds a bit arrogant but give a girl the right outfit and right pair of shoes and they can conquer the world!
Unfortunately that’s not the case for me, I put on a dress now, look in the mirror and just see a deformed overweight frumpy looking horror! When I tell people that’s how I see myself they just humour me and say don’t be silly but it’s not exactly like they are going to agree! The thing is that I know all it takes is a bit of exercise and my confidence will come back but I’m in no state to exercise as I’m still sore from the operation and get a lot of pain so not sure what the solution is yet.
So new year I wore jeans out but I couldn’t wear jeans last night when we attended a racing awards dinner with a dress code.
The dress I ended up wearing was one I never thought I would wear. I bought it online from an expensive boutique but when it arrived I hated it, it looked far too long and I didn’t like the material. I forgot to send it back but who would have thought a year later I would be so glad I had it.
When I put it on I couldn’t believe how long it was, it was knee length, the longest dress I have ever worn! That aside it was the most flattering out of all my dresses and I felt classy and smart all night.
This is where the new normal comes in, a year ago I would never be seen in a knee length dress, all mine were mini dresses some even backless or low cut showing lots of flesh! I can’t imagine ever being confident enough to dress like that again so now I need to adjust to a different look even if it’s not what I normally go for. I need to Make these changes my new normal
So when I get dressed up to go out I still feel a million dollars but don’t have to worry about my scars and war wounds as such being on show!
It’s going to be difficult but hopefully in time this new change will become my normal and my confidence will build back up. Even now when I go shopping I need to get into the habit of looking at different clothes and different styles! I’m not going to be one of those overweight people that wear clothes that look too small for them or show off far more flesh that anyone wants to see!
Its funny because I now realise that it’s not just a case of having an operation then back to normal like I hoped. So much had changed for me. I refuse to let cancer win and take over my life so rather than continue trying to get it s
How it was I need to concentrate on finding my new normal!

Thundersport motorcycle racing awards dinner and the frumpy black dress I didn’t like!!

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Tick Tock… Tick Tock…

TICK….TOCK….TICK….TOCK

So Life is good at the moment, well all things considered!

We have been living in the house a year now and it is going great, slowly adding our own personal touch to it and making it wonderful!

Megan’s karting is great and we love our race weekends away racing as well as our weekends at home in the garden. I have a lovely family that make me very happy and all is blissfully good!!

So the scene was this…. It was one sunny afternoon, sat in the garden with a cold cider with the BBQ on and the sun on my face, Megan was playing on the trampoline and my Husband Gardening! I suddenly thought how nice it would be to have more children running round the garden! It had never occurred to me before that I might want more children but now that I have almost everything I could want, a family, the perfect house etc I thought actually it could be something to think about. A little brother or sister for Megan, what would she think to that!!

Following the thoughts of cute baby grows and family bbq’s, my mind strayed to my health and my age, Whilst I am only 32 I am on Tamoxifen for 10 years and I would have to come off that in order to have more children. This would not be an easy decision to make. For a start I was advised I need to be on it for at least 3 years! Currently I am at 2 years and 7 months so got a while to go yet before I could even consider it, then I would have to be off it for a while before trying and then there’s the risk involved.

Coming off Tamoxifen would mean I am at an increased risk of the cancer returning. The consultant couldn’t give me any exact figures but just said the risk would be increased. Now I am never one known for playing it safe, If I want something I am normally happy to take a risk to get it however when the risk is my health I can’t rush into anything. I just keep thinking in my head that if I had another baby and then in a years’ time something happened and I got the cancer back then I couldn’t live with myself knowing I had played a part in that by coming off the tamoxifen.

I know it sounds a bit extreme but imagine if it got really bad and got worse and then I left my family all for another baby. I am maybe over thinking it but these are all the things going through my head. Should I concentrate on the family I have got and not be selfish or should I run the risk of it coming back to extend my family further.

These are all things I have been thinking about then to add to it all my consultant says that due to some new guidelines or something I now fall into the category of genetic testing to see if my cancer was caused by a faulty gene! I will write another blog post on this as it’s a whole new drama in itself but it gives me even more to think about as could seriously affect decisions over having children. I am currently waiting for some genetic test results to come back but trying not to think about that at the moment!

In an ideal world I wouldn’t even be having this dilemma now and would just go with the flow and see what happens but in the back of my mind all I can hear is Tick Tock Tick Tock which is the timer running down as I get older and my window for having more children gets smaller! I am only 32 so maybe need to calm down a bit as I have a few years yet but time seems to go so fast. I Didn’t worry about age till I hit 30 but now I’m looking ahead to 40!

I did put some posts on a forum to speak to anyone that has been in this situation and come off Tamoxifen to have children but not a lot came back. I have spoken to some people at work who are a little older than me and they say they wouldn’t even risk it for more children and that’s it! Bearing in mind they all have more than 1 child and wouldn’t have any more anyway irrelevant of any health risks! They have very little understanding of how I feel. I always imaged I would have 3 children and whilst I am very happy with the family I have I do feel that maybe there’s an option for more?

So the saga goes on, In 5 years’ time I might look back at this smiling with a baby or I might be in a totally different situation. I have learnt over the past years not to plan too far ahead and just to go with the flow and take every day as it comes!! Or at least that’s what I try to do!

 

Always in the back of my mind….

I think no matter how fit and well you are, or how wonderful life is once you have had a cancer scare it’s always in the back of your mind. The happier live gets the scarier it is that it could all be taken away. 

Obviously mine was more than a scare, I survived it and an here to tell the tale but I always wonder what if. So many people are cancer free for ages then it comes back with avengence! 

I watched a film called missing you already the other day about 2 friends one of which gets Breast Cancer. Other than the chemo side of it I could relate to her story. What I couldn’t get my head Round is when her cancer came back and she knew she was going to die. I was sat wondering if I elms prefer to know I was going to die and be able to say good bye or if not knowing would be better do people don’t have to deal with the run up to it knowing what’s going to happen. You hear about people having a bucket list which I understand and totally get however my bucket list would just say cherish every moment with my family. I don’t need to go jump of a bridge to tick a box on a list. To me I would just spend every second of the day I could telling my family I love them. 

The films was so sad and has me in tears as normal. I think because it’s quite close to home anyway but it starts Making you think about life and making the most if it, cherishing every day and most of all telling your loved ones that they are loved every day.

 3 simple words, I LOVE YOU could make all the difference to someone’s day. 

Being a karting mum 

I think people get sick of me talking about karting, it’s all I ever talk about. I have to try and remember that just because something is interesting to me doesn’t mean it’s interesting to anyone else!

It’s hard being in the paddock sometimes as a karting mum. Everyone thinks their kids are the fastest and the best and can do no wrong. Everyone (or most people) are proud of their kids. A child doesn’t have to be sporty, have a fantastic talent or achieve much to make their parents proud. For me it isn’t the karting that makes me proud, (let’s face it Megan isn’t exactly winning British championships!!) but the attitude and ambition of someone so young. Most kids at 12 don’t have a care in the world and if they are not out causing trouble at the weekend they are say bored at home. Megan’s wishing the next year away so she can turn 13 to get a paper round to help pay for karting! And in her spare time if we are not racing she is sat watching you tube videos of the circuits she will be racing at this year. 

I am a realistic karting mum, I don’t think Megan is going to be the next F1 driver or get anywhere near that point! What we go karting for isn’t to start Megan’s motor racing career but more to give her as many opportunities in life as we can and to show her that you can achieve anything if you work hard enough at it but nothing comes easily and if you want results you have to work for them. I think it’s also important to show young people there are more choices out there and you can do something good if you want, obviously at 12 a lot of influence and opportunity comes from the parents but I think kids in sports are good role models for other kids. 

I have very little use on race weekends, I tried to put the tyres on her kart once and put the back ones on the front!! Oooops! I think my main purpose is just to support Megan and cheer her on, even if she isn’t doing that well. Being away every weekend as a family doing something we love is the best thing in the world and we need to make the most of it while Megan’s young!

So now we have started something with karting that we can’t just switch off, we have got the racing bug again and every time we go out it gets more expensive! Always planning the next race meeting or next test weekend not to mention the ongoing need for kart parts and tyres! 

So this year it’s no shoes and clothes allowance, no summer holiday and a lot of overtime!! Realistically we can’t do this forever but you only get once chance at life if we can give Megan a few years of her living the dream then it’s money well spent!! 

The world is a scary place

so we decided to have a family holiday this year and go somewhere a bit different, we normally go to Spain! So I got on google and had a look around and a place called Oludeniz came up in Turkey, looked beautiful, bright green sea and white beaches sold it for us! The week after we booked we were at racing when someone asked if we had seen the paper as there was an article about Turkey being on high alert from a terrorist attack and British tourists were at high risk! So typical, we book a nice holiday then get scared into going! I decided not to let it worry me and then a week later the Tunisia terror attack happened……

It’s a bit of a wake up call when terrorist attacks happen and especially ones that involve British people. It’s a horrible reminder of the evil in the world and that nobody knows what’s round the corner. I live in a very small town with very little crime and not a lot going on and to see British people like me getting shot on the beach on holiday is so scary. I can’t even find the words to describe it. It’s devastating and heartbreaking to think that those people were relaxing and enjoying the sunshine not knowing what’s around the corner. It must have been so scary being in that situation, in fact I can’t even begin to imagine it. So that’s Tunisia tourism ruined for a long time. And the cause of it…. Pure evil, people that have possibly been brainwashed or people that just genuinely believe they have a good reason to kill innocent people, it may be religion, beliefs, revenge for something, politics, war, or other reasons that we may never know. One thing I know is that I will never understand it and never come to terms with how someone can just end an innocent persons life. 

The reality is though that this is the real world and this is what happens and worse. This is the world we are bringing out Children up in and the world our grandchildren, great grandchildren and future generations are living in. As long as we live in our little town out the way we feel a sense of safety as if we are out the way of it all and unlikely to experience the terror going on in the world. 

So everyone is saying they wouldn’t go to Turkey and wouldn’t book a holiday in a Muslim country because of the extremists. I don’t think you can blame Muslims, yes religion plays a part in this but there’s good and bad people everywhere and I don’t want to hide away. In Tunisis the hotel staff that were Muslims tried to stop the gunman and risked their lives doing it which just shows that there’s as many good people as there are bad and you can’t judge everyone basedon obe persons evil actions. 

Oludinez looks beautiful and a fantastic part of the world to visit. Turkey is on a high alert but then so is France, Spain and England. Is anywhere safe? Probably not, if these extremists are going to attack us then it could be anywhere and could happen anywhere. If we stop visiting these countries then they have won. There are good and bad people everywhere and attacks can happen anywhere in the world. Obviously it’s going to be in our minds when we are abroad but we just need to go and have a great holiday and not let them win by scaring us out the area. 

I just think it’s such a shame that this is now the world we live in and it’s not just a small group of people but a billion dollar army of nutcase extremists that are willing to die for what they are doing and what they believe in. The scary thing is that when they die they want to take as many innocent people with them and there doesn’t week to be a lot going on to stop them! Although what is going on in the government and military is way above my intelligence level! 

So a week from now we will be in Oludinez wondering what all the fuss was about and having a fantastic holiday! Or at least that’s the plan! 

Band Aid, charitable or a complete con?

This post was written at Christmas and I have just logged on to my word press to see that for some reason it has not posted.  I was going to delete it but then thought actually I will just post it!! 

Charity work and helping others is something I am massively keen on which is one of the reasons I feel so strongly about and am very opinionated on the subject of charity.

so Band Aid…. Some look at all the celebrities singing and think it’s great, pick up the phone and donate. I am quite the opposit and refuse to waste my money on band aid. There is so much wrong with that song!

my first point is that every year we raise millions of pounds for Africa through Band aid and comic relief yet the problem never improves. We get told every year that thousands of people in Africa are dying yet the millions of pounds we raise makes no difference! Maybe the reason is because Instead of helping Africans the money is being invested in unethical companies such as firearms, tobacco, alcohol! Not to mention the money that the executives of these charities get to fund their lavish lifestyles and sports cars!

The next point is that Bob Geldof is worth a reported 30 million yet he thinks it’s acceptable to ask members of the public to “give us your fucking money” and thinks it’s ok to tell people to buy the single even if they don’t like it! If people had spare money to donate to a charity they should be able to pick a charity themselves and donate that way rather than being told to download a song they don’t even like!!

While watching all the celebrities singing the and aid song I wondered how much money all the people in that room were worth! Each celebrity is massively successful and if everyone of them just donated a months wage then Africa would be massively better off…. Or not as the case may be as the money probably doesn’t reach anyone in Africa! The celebrities wouldn’t do that anyway seeming as the reason they take part in band aid is not to help anyone but just to raise their own public profile!!

Has anyone actually listened to the words of the song because I actually find it borderline offensive! To give you an example…..

Do they know its christmas? Of course they know it’s christmas and its quite patronising to think otherwise. I have been to Western Africa at Christmas and visited the poverty stricken areas and despite the conditions and low quality of life the people still managed to come together in their communities and be festive at Christmas. There is one line saying there is death in every tear? And there’s no peace and joy in Africa? Whoever wrote these lyrics has clearly never been to Africa! Yes the Ebola crisis exists and is awful but as is aids, cancer, poverty in England, child abuse and many more awful things in the world none of which we try and fundraise for by singing a song slating the whole country!!

The little reminders!

So after the whole Cancer episode I thought I would just forget about it and move on, I was back at work after a few weeks and didn’t have to have chemo so in my mind once I had got the operations out the way everything would go back to normal! Turns out that’s not the case!!
It is a bit strange because at the time I was having all the tests, surgery etc I didn’t once freak out or get upset. Yet over a year later I find myself getting stressed and upset for stupid reasons! The first thing is the paranoia, I get the slightest headache and I think it’s a brain tumour, I have a tiny new mole at the moment that I’m convincing myself is cancer! It’s not a healthy way to live but after the shock that I had breast cancer I now start looking for something wrong with me and am constantly paranoid! 

The next thing is my back, when I had my surgery they removed the muscle from my back to do a breast reconstruction. This must have caused some nerve damage that the surgeons say could be permanent. If anyone hugs me or taps my back I get shooting pains resembling electric shocks! I never say anything when this happens as I don’t like to make a fuss but it’s really painful! I was on the treadmill the other day and only walking at a slow pace and my back felt so strange, it like tightened up and was really painful! I am hoping this will go over time but it’s been over a year and it hasn’t! 

I have booked us a holiday to Oludeniz in Turkey for July. I am so excited! It’s our first holiday abroad since my operation and will be my first time wearing swimwear! This has turned out to be another massive drama, it must sound like I’m being a proper moaning Minnie but all these little trivial things never used to be an issue but suddenly are! So far unless I wear a wetsuit I can’t find one bikini that flatters my over inflated wonky boobs! My husband keeps saying there will be way worse looking people on holiday so stop stressing but every girl wants to look good in a bikini and for me it’s not actually happening at the moment!  Either way it will be a fantastic family holiday wonky boobs or not! The hotel looks great and the sea is bright blue and really clear. It’s really exciting! 

Anyway enough winging from me, I always tell myself there are far more people out there worse off than me so smile and get on with it as it always could be worse! 

Cancer – A year later

In a lot of my previous posts I have talked about getting back to normal, getting back into my fitness and normal daily routine. It been a year and 3 months since first diagnosis and it has been a year and 2 weeks since my surgery. So a year on how are things?… Well I didn’t have any major treatment after so besides recovering from my operation i could get back to my life pretty quickly. Work is back to normal, life goes on and my health is all good so as far as I am concerned that short hiccup in my life is done and gone.
While out at a christmas party last Saturday someone put their arm around my waist and squeezed me and the pain in my back was dreadful. This was basically because of nerve damage from my operation something which the surgeons say may get better over time but may not. Then when someone took a picture of me in a group I had a quick look and realised the ever so slight bit of cleavage I had showing was completely wonkey and misshaped and I was far from showing off a good set of boobs!!
Don’t get me wrong I am in no way shape or form complaining and am really happy with how it’s all gone but just these 2 little incidents were reminders that despite me being Cancer free now and healthy, I’m always living with it and will be reminded of. The way I see it though Is i may have wonkey boobs and a nerve damaged back but I am still here to tell the tale and got off lightly compared to a lot of people who suffer a lot longer than a year! I just hope they hurry up and find a cure so that more people can get over it quickly, stop suffering and carry on with their lives like I am fortunate enough to be able to do!!

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