BRING BACK THE BLOG!
BRING BACK THE BLOG!
BRING BACK THE BLOG!
This is what I have people chanting outside my house, every night of the week. I receive text messages, emails, carrier pigeons, all demanding me to blog again. So here it is! I have had some new people come into my life, some who have no idea about my story. So I thought of no better way to fill them in than share my bloggy blog diggity blog again.
First of all, I can’t believe I forgot to tell you all about toasted cheese incident of 2014. It happened after my first chemo. This was around the start of May, 2014. After my first chemo, I was really, really sick (you can read all about my first chemo in the chapter ‘Sunshine On A Rainy Day’). About a week after the chemo dose, I started to feel better. It was a Friday; I remember it well. I woke up and was incredibly hungry. Possibly even hangry (this is the resulting mood of anger that hunger brings on. Hangry). I was craving grease. I hadn’t eaten much in over a week, and by that, I mean, I barely ate a thing. I nibbled at some pieces of bread and pasta that mum tried to give me, as well as had a few vegetable juices. I had lost about 3 kilos in that first week. Anyways, this hangry day happened. I was feeling it. I was all for it. I was switched on and ready for a binge.
There were lots of healthy fresh food in the cupboard and fridge, but I honestly just felt like I had a mild hangover, and that the key to curing this hangover was inevitably greasy food. I perused my options at home (I wasn’t feeling confident enough to go out by myself to buy something). I found bread. I found cheese. I found butter. I found salt. All the makings of the perfect hangover cure.
I made a cheese toasted sandwich. Possibly using the unhealthiest method, second to deep frying. You see, I gathered that if I was going to grease it up, I better do it properly. The method to the toasted cheese sandwich is intricate.
Golden Heaven Toasted Cheese Toastie Sandwich
Step 1 – Slightly toast two slices of bread in the toaster
Step 2 – Melt a teaspoon of butter in the frypan
Step 3 – Butter one side one of the slighty toasted pieces of bread and place it with the butter side down into the frypan
Step 4 – Layer layers of delicious cheese along that piece of bread in the fry pan
Step 5 – Sprinkle this layered delicious cheese piece of bread with salt
Step 6 – Butter up the other piece of previously slightly toasted bread and place it with the butter side up on the slightly toasted piece of bread covered in layers of delicious cheese in the frypan
Step 7 – Squash that golden frying piece of heaven down like there is no tomorrow.
Step 8 – When you think that the first side is appropriately toasted, flip that bad boy over and fry the other side
Step 9 – Place Golden Heaven Toasted Cheese Toastie Sandwich on a plate to serve.
Repeat this process four times.
‘I’m sorry, what?’ you ask? Yes. That is correct. Repeat the process four times. Well, that is what I did.
After the first Golden Heaven Toasted Cheese Toastie Sandwich, I was left feeling alone. Like one wasn’t enough. It had certainly hit the spot; but it hadn’t fulfilled my desire of grease. So I thought oh.. well.. just another one. After all, I have barely eaten in a week, it will be good for me. So four slices of bread down and half a block of cheese later, I was literally just making up for lost time. I’d eaten two. My thoughts were dominated by self justification and liberation.
‘You got this!’
I said to myself.
‘You deserve this! You’ve earned it!’
I’m not sure if anyone really ‘earns’ a toasted cheese sandwich, but I certainly thought it was a thing at the time. So here I am, two down. I was craving more. I am pretty sure at this point I was satisfied, but I hadn’t had taste in my mouth for over a week and it’s like there was a party in my mouth and everyone was invited. Again, I wanted more. Three Golden Heaven Toasted Cheese Toastie Sandwiches down. I was feeling it. Ohhhhhhh boy. Here’s the thing though – I’m a finisher. It just so happened that there was ¼ block of cheese left and two slices of bread left. What are the chances, huh? I took that as a sign. A sign of validation and encouragement. A sign from the universe, that the fourth Golden Heaven Toasted Cheese Toastie Sandwich and I were meant to be. So I went for it. I engaged in the task, delivered the assets and demolished the outcome. It was good.
At this point, movement wasn’t really happening for me. I made my way to the couch and stayed there for 2-3 hours. What happened next was not fun. I had to go to the doctor that very afternoon. After having eaten barely a thing for a week and then jumping on the Golden Heaven Toasted Cheese Toastie Sandwich like noone’s jumped on that bandwagon before, I had given myself chronically severe heartburn/reflux/indigestion. It was so excruciating that it was painful to breath, I couldn’t eat and it was agonising to even sip on water.
The aftermath of the toasted cheese incident of 2014 lasted about 5 days. I’d like to say I’ve learned from the event, but I’m not entirely sure that I have. When it comes to Golden Heaven Toasted Cheese Toastie Sandwiches, it’s hard to say no.
Next topic! I wanted to share some more details about the diagnosis. The initial ultrasound was the 20th March, then I was officially diagnosed on 21st of March (2014). At this initial ultra sound (I’ve written about that appointment in one of my first blogs, if you’re keen to check it out, it’s the chapter named ‘Rolling In The Deep’), I was told that the dude was going to write a report and that I had to take it to my GP immediately. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to open the letter, but who was going to stop me, right? So I opened this letter and thought hmm. WTF (Why The Face?). I was tag team phone calling Ash and Nikki numerous times saying to them ‘Why The Face’. I sent a picture of the write up to Ash, she was out to dinner with her mum in the city, I remember it so clearly.
For those interested, this is a picture of a letter I received on that day.
There were heaps of scary words in there, which I did not understand. So Google doctored myself (I am now on a lifetime self imposed Google doctor ban). The words I Googled immediately were
After the quick Google session, I deduced that it probably was not the best idea to have looked deeper into the meaning of these words, because not one of them was synonymous with rainbows, sunshine or lollipops. Then I went to the GP, had some more Why The Face talks.
Another interesting thing I’d like to show ya’ll is my mammogram. First of all, I think it is so incredible that they can actually do this whole mammogram thing and see your insides! It is out of control. Secondly, the first time I saw this was on the Monday morning after my diagnosis (24th March), with my newly appointed Doctor – Dr Domonic Moon, at 8:45 on that beautiful Monday morning. He put it in his fluorescent thingy majjiggy and showed me and I was like, cool, looking pretty good, right! Then he laughed at me and said hahahah well, see this….. at a first glance I thought that both breasts looked pretty similar, so either both of them had cancer, or they were both pretty OK. But he pointed out to me that the right breast (located on the left side of the picture below) actually has a big mass in it. A lot bigger, thicker and less vascular than that of any of the white sections on the other side. He also pointed out that if you look closer, there are solid white dots all around the larger mass and pretty much around the whole top half of the breast. He explained that each of these dots were metastasis (spread of the cancer and if I am remembering correctly, after he pointed this out I am pretty sure I started clapping an laughing; probably an odd reaction to have). But seriously, I was blown away they could see all this from the mammogram, so at that point I went to the waiting room and got Mum and Dad so I could show them the amazing mammogram. Again, they were probably less amazed than I, and probably having ‘Why The Face’ thoughts.
Anyway, that is what a referral looks like. That is what an unhealthy mammogram looks like. Also, I had genetic testing done and it came back inconclusive (it either comes back positive or inconclusive, never negative, because they might discover something soon that does link it to genetics, then they could probably get their a$$ sued). What they were looking for was a variant or change in the BRAC1 or 2 Gene (the gene that Angie Jolie had). They stated that they did find a variant in the BRAC2 gene, but nothing that was linked so far to cancer. They stated that it still could possibly be genetic, but that it’s just not something they could prove right now. They also said there was not a link to ovarian cancer too, which was great news.
In terms of medication, I am on one named Tamoxifen. It is the most popular of drugs in the elite world of breast cancer with everyone wanting to have a dabble. What tamoxifen does, is block the actions of estrogen in the body (this is used for women with hormone-receptive cancer – which mine was). I’ve spoken to numerous women who are on tamoxifen and a lot of them have a horrendous time. The side effects can be outta control. Side effects can be blood clots, blurred/tunnel vision, nausea and lots of side effects similar to that of menopause (hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, body/joint aches). When I started on the medication (I think it was around January?), I had a couple of hot flushes. But that was it. I am totally grateful and blessed that I have zero side effects from the medication.
The last thing I want to talk to ya’ll about is the old bodio imagio (body image). I’ve been through some pretty drastic appearance changes and it’s only now that I feel I’m getting back to look like myself (mind you, I still try and remember that the whole time I was myself and that the vanity of looks has the tiniest of importance).
One of my biggest lessons has been that your time could come at any moment. Because of that, I don’t want to have wasted my time, energy and any other human resource on worrying that I’m not good enough. Worrying that my love handles are just a little too big for that pair of shorts. Worrying that I am not smart enough, pretty enough, happy enough, caring enough, important enough. All those stupid thoughts. It’s all these limiting thoughts and beliefs that waste your brain power and decrease your ability to thrive an enjoy this amazing world.
An example of one of these limiting thoughts taking over is my wardrobe selection. For a long time, I haven’t liked my arms. Similar to Amy Schumer, my arms sometimes register as legs. They are big arms! Big shoulders! So for a long time, I would often limit my wardrobe selection to only t-shirts and long sleeves because I think my arms are too chunky for singlets. But I stopped that. Now I force myself to wear singlets all the time, to prove a point to myself. When you let these thoughts go, a sense of freedom comes. In saying that though, it’s not an epiphany that happens and the whole world changes. It’s a constant challenge and awareness that needs to be lived out every day. You’ve gotta be able to recognise those thoughts, catch them and then boot them in the other direction and say no thanks. I find this especially important in my case, as I’ve been through so many times with broken arms, recovering from operations etc where my arms were not fully functional and sometimes not functional at all. So I try and focus on being thankful for them rather than resenting them. I challenge you to try and catch your limiting thoughts too. Stop giving a f!@# if your arms are flubby. YOU HAVE ARMS. Wear the frickin singlet. It’s 39 degrees for crying out loud. Stop the limiting thoughts that people don’t like you. They do. We all do. Stop thinking that you don’t deserve happiness; you don’t deserve beauty; you don’t deserve clarity. You do.
Other than all that guys, I’m doing really well. Luke and I had the most AMAZING time in Europe. It was so relaxing and so wonderful to meet his beautiful fambam. I had a minor hiccup a few months ago and had to have my appendix out – but really, it was a walk in the park. A few nights in hospy and then there you go! I’m the fittest and strongest I have been in a long time. I’ve started doing Crossfit at an amazing establishment called Rise and Conquer, created by some amazing people. Seeing your body change and improve is one of the most exciting and rewarding things you can do for yourself. I’m doing a lot of yoga too! Still love the yoga. So many Exciting things ahead for me. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read this. As always, I love hearing from people, so if you want to leave me a comment with your thoughts please do so below! Or if anything resonated with you from this chapter, please share it with your family and friends. Peace xx