Monday, 29 June 2015

This time next year....

...1st July 2014 was the first chemo. I remember that time so clearly, walking into that room armed with food, sweets, frozen drinks, ice lollies, magazines.... Very optimistic, the dreaded cold cap, they said it would be like brain freeze, yeah ok, times that by a thousand and you might be close. 

On the outside I was smiling (as per pic below) but believe me it was gritted teeth and the pain after as my head thoared out Urgh, it makes me feel ill (Sarah Perry, I have no idea how you managed to do this SIX times)

One of the things that kept me going was imagining July 2015 and how nice it was going to be. I would be cancer free, treatment would be over (except recon but that's the good bit I guess) and I would in fact be celebrating my "Chemo-versary" on 1st July 2015 either in a swim up bar or on the beach but both involved Bora Bora and a mojito.

If someone had told me that I would actually have stage 4 breast cancer and places like Bora Bora were for another life then I'm not quite sure I'd have had that same gritted smile, I don't think I would have even pretended. I'm actually quite angry that I didn't know back then because by now I would have been in a much better place. So instead I am weighed down by sadness, it's palpable. I was waiting for Summer 2015, for my second chance at life, everybody deserves a second chance...but not everyone gets their happy ever after... Unfortunately for me I seem to fall once again into the statistic no one wants to be in.

I've been told that in order to move on (with anything in life) you have to forgive.
I'm certainly not ready to forgive and so therefore I can't move on - but can you move on from secondary cancer?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Aimee Adam & Hollie

Roughly 2 years in between each of us, grew up playing in the garden causing mischief, I was the boss, Adam did as I said and poor Hollie had all the pranks played on her.  These days anything goes - I've filled Adams mugs with sugar and turned them upside down... Fabio has been given an entire box of dog biscuits... Hollie has had her mugs filled with coffee and turned upside down...and Adam was given a doggie bag with a hole at the bottom when he picked up after Bruno... Bad times -safe to say that the pranks continue as we get older...

These days I am known as the weaker sibling, and not because of the C, but because Adam and Hollie are, were, more feisty, out spoken, dare I say stronger (punch pretty hard) than me, but maybe now we're all equal? Ok I'm still the weak one...

When we were little we wore matching outfits, (sailor suits, tiger club t/shirts, dungarees) some of our clothes were knitted by our Aunties, some from the shop in Erdington where everything was in cardboard boxes- I remember getting my puff ball dress from there -1989 ish?

I love having a sister, Hollie. She is one of my soul mates, when shit hits the fan she's always the person I want. Arron said recently that we can be quite intimidating together if you didn't know us, not sure what he meant. Maybe because look out for each other? Or because we giggle like school girls? We prat about like school kids? We tend to get very loud and sometimes lairy? 

When we lost our baby Hollie was at work, and so we went to her house and waited. I willed the hours to pass and when she got home she didn't say a word she just clung onto me. Same when I was diagnosed, she clung onto me and made me feel better. The bond we had grew and I don't think you would understand it unless you have a sister. She is one of the few people who saw what chemo, surgery and radiotherapy did to me, and continue to do to me. I don't need to put on a brave face and hide the pain, she sees me at my worst.

Hollie came to my house the Saturday after my first chemo to wash my hair, I will never ever forget leaning over the bath, her whole body was shaking in fear that all of my hair would fall out (it didn't) she was terrified but she still did it, in fact she went to the pharmacy and got me some shampoo and a gorgeous engraved baby brush and comb, she also gave me Lolaah's first baby brush which I still use every day.

Every Wednesday after chemo she would come and stay the night with Lolaah, in these 2 days she would feed me, keep my hydrated, help me in and out of the shower, sort out my meds, keep me in a constant supply of hot water bottles for the pain and on top of all that whilst I slept (and slept) she would clean my house, these were her days off work, in the summer time and she told me that she didn't want to be anywhere else. 

She also came to see me the day I had a double mastectomy, and sorted out my drawn on eyebrows which had been smudged during surgery, and she came with animal print bottle bags for my drains -and lots of magazines and biscuits.

She continued to look after me post op, I couldn't drive for around 3 months and so most days she would come and pick me up and take me shopping or do whatever I needed. Hollie was also present for most of my radiotherapy sessions, ?? Mile round trip daily, sometimes with Lolaah in toe when there wasn't anyone to look after her.

It's safe to say that I think the world of her & cherish every second that we spend together.

Adam (Pepsi)
Well, my annoying little brother turned out ok, most of the time, only joking. My brother, to some, is a charmer and fairly cheeky but to me he is kind and loyal. The days/weeks after diagnosis are all a bit blury, but I do remember lots of family gatherings, and lots of happy times with my nephew Archie, and niece Poppie-Rae, mainly in mom and dads garden, with Adam having water fights and "accidentally" getting me soaked.

The night of my first chemo Pepsi came to mine with a present. a pillow. A fish pillow. Not just any fish pillow, a huge massive fish pillow, to which he said don't be ungrateful I've been and brought that for you so you can't get rid of it or throw it away.
Cheers, it's lovely... I think it's upstairs somewhere....

Adam was also roped into "Aimee Sitting" duties, in fact he turned up one morning with a McDonalds breakfast, but I couldn't eat it as Arron (Captain Chemo) had put me on a takeaway ban during chemo to prevent me being sick. The thought was there I guess....

Most of our time was spent with me on the sofa, sleeping and catching up on various epic TV series and Pepsi working from my kitchen, every so often we would break out into song -mainly DJ Aligator's "Blow your whistle" - our most fave line being - "blow the engine like a laser guided missile." Maybe you had to be there but still, it makes me chuckle.

I also caught him trying on one of my wigs.... The proof is here...

He also put together one of the kindest things that anyone has ever done for me, along with a team of people that I'd never met, these people are called Simon's Heros -their website can be found here -amazing bunch of beautiful people 

When they called me over I honestly thought they were going to get me to do the Wolf Run... And my first thought was oh crap I'm going to have to take my wig off, maybe it should have been -oh crap I've not done any training for the 5k+ run... Luckily for me I was given a trip to a spa -which has now got me hooked and I'm looking to rebook ASAP.

It's safe to say that I love my brother and sister with all my heart and in this instance consider myself extremely lucky and extremely proud of them both. I know that they would do anything for me and visa versa. I am not thankful to cancer for anything, but I have enjoyed spending more time with these two (plus Archie, Poppie and Lolaah of course).

I am so greatful that I got to grow up with a brother and sister, my memories bring me nothing but smiles, I would have loved a family of 5 but I guess I will have to help my nieces and nephew out on the mischief making and be the Kooliest Aunty ever (IDST). I'm just hoping that the whole family can go on holiday later this year as I want to create as many memories as I can.

Adam & Hollie I love you all the world and I am forever greatful for everything that you have done for me and continue to do for me, I couldn't have and wouldn't have wanted to do it without you, you guys are the best xox

Monday, 22 June 2015


6 days ago my friend Rosie died. she's left an unbearable hole in my life, in our little gang, we miss her dearly.

The day I was diagnosed with bone mets, I told the girls, and instantly Rosie called me. she was the first person I spoke to, I will never forget our conversation, she understood, she told me that it was shit and she'd hoped that I would never have to join the secondaries group, but she also said that I'd probably had the worst news I was ever going to have and so at least that was out of the way, this may sound crazy but that was quite comforting. She also said that I should shout, cry, scream, drink a large Gin and Tonic (which I was already doing at that point) and then tomorrow I had to pull up my big girl pants and we would fight this together.

13 days ago we (me, Rebecca, Sarah, Andrea and Cinzia) went down to London to see her in hospital, it was a day of hope, a day of light, we laughed with Rosie, in fact we giggled like school girls, like we do all day and night on our chat, she gave me a massive hug, and even though she was very weak and tired she still asked about me, my treatment, my biopsies, she checked that the others were ok too, that was just Rosie, she was like a big sister. We planned future get to gethers and when we were getting ready to leave she insisted that we went straight to the pub and that she would be there the next time.

The next time we all met up was at Rosie's shiva. After we all went to the pub, Rosie, was with us,just as she said she would be the next time we met up, a white feather appeared at our table, infect it stuck itself to my champagne flute.

I hope, well I know youve upgraded to a room with a view and that you are indeed at the bar for happy hour, with Jojo.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The picture


Ok women with breast cancer,in my own experience, don't feel like "getting them out" or taking pictures in a pretty push up bra (or duct tape??), and I certainly didn't feel sexual throughout treatment, why? Mainly because they tried to kill me, oh and the gruelling chemo which induced vomiting/hair loss/weight gain/anxiety/depression etc etc. Sexy huh?

How does this even send a message to men and women that they should check their breasts? In my opinion it mearly gave people an opportunity to "get them out" and flaunt their bodies on the Internet, nothing about it raised awareness for breast cancer, in fact some of the pictures tried to make it seem glamorous, it's not, it's shit, really shit.

In fact this picture was taken when I arrived back at my sisters having been to my friends funeral, she was taken from us at the age of 32 because of this f-ing disease.

I get it,I know that my picture isn't easy on the eye, I don't have the body of a typical 32 year old, but THIS is breast cancer, 2 wonky scars, a concaved chest and a lymphodema sleeve, and I consider myself to be rather lucky with what I have, I definitely don't fit into the #freeTheNipple hash tag either...

Breastcancer is not fun, it's not sexy, people die. 



Thursday, 4 June 2015

First date

Not a good first date, the first of many cancer related dates starts tomorrow. 

5th June, 1 year since they said oh don't worry it's most likely to be mastitis from your pregnancy, 1 year since I had an ultrasound anyway just to put my mind at rest. 1 year since they then said we need to do a mammogram ... And 4 biopsies... And a fine needle aspiration. All on my own because Arron had to wait outside not knowing what was going on and I was lying on that hard horrible bed, watching their faces trying to work out how the hell I got there. 1 year since I was told "I will prey for you" which was meant in the loveliest way but sticks in my mind and from that moment everything changed.

In 1 appointment on the 5th June 2014 I went from being assessed as 1 - not concerned, to 5 - it's likely to be breast cancer and life as you know it is gone.

I think this could be up there with the worst first date ever...