Fight pants at wedgie level.

I’m starting a little blog up. I hope you’ll like it and I really hope other stage 3C breast cancer fighters and survivors will find comfort and strength in my determination to kick the living daylights out of cancer for the second time around… Equally I hope I come across women in a similar situation who can offer me the same.

I was recently diagnosed with a recurrence of my breast cancer with my supraclavicular lymph node and axillary (underarm) nodes affected. They diagnosed it as stage 3C which is pretty shit.

I had been for 2 checks at my breast clinic because I had underarm pain and pain behind my breast but twice I had been told they were 100% certain it was nerve damage from my previous double mastectomy and reconstruction. I still felt unsure and just 3 days after I was seen, I found the lump above my collar bone – 6th January. I just knew it was back.

I had to wait two absolutely hellish days for it to be Monday so I could speak to someone and thankfully I was seen on Monday 8th, ultrasound scan, biopsy and CT scan happened on the same day and confirmed the motherfucker was back.

Michael had to have a job interview while I was at the hospital (which he amazingly got – he’s my absolute hero) so my dad came with me and when they told us it had returned, my poor dad almost fainted – twice! If you can imagine your absolute worst nightmare, this was mine. It was just incredibly terrifying.

I was literally begging the consultant to tell me it wasn’t cancer, telling him I’ve got a 3 year old. I was grabbing his hands pleading with him. My little girl, she needs me. I wanted to look after my dad and he wanted to look after me but it was just awful.

Michael came straight from his interview and in the car on the way home, I just screamed – I didn’t even realise I could make these noises. I screamed and screamed because I knew recurrence was bad news. I couldn’t accept it. That I won’t be around for Ivy when she needs me. What if she gets picked on at high school because people pick on redheads. Who’ll do her hair for her on her first day of school or be there for her when she just needs her mum.

Who’ll look after my Michael when he’s lonely in bed at night. Who will he share his day with and send funny photos of Ivy to and who will he go to gigs with. Who’ll sing (really terribly) to him while he plays the guitar. I imagined him having to meet someone new and worried he and Ivy would forget me.

My heart broke for my poor mum and dad. My mum crumbled when we got back from the hospital. My poor mum and dad. They shouldn’t have to go through it all again.

When we got back from the hospital, my breast care nurse phoned to say they’d amazingly reported the CT scan and thankfully it hadn’t spread to any other organs. I thought this meant it could be cured and spent 2 days blissfully unaware.

We had earlier planned to go away to celebrate my 3 year remission (12.01.18) and decided we’d still go anyway. We had to go to the hospital first. Here’s when my oncologist and breast care nurse told me that 3C was classed as incurable (that’s the last time I’ll use that word because it’s a horrible one).

I went into meltdown again, started grabbing Michael, grabbing his jumper. All I really got from that appointment was “let’s aim for 3ยฝ years” and “I know of one stage 3C patient who made it to 10 years”. There were more positive things but I don’t remember them.

Our night away was cancelled and on the morning of what would have been my remission celebration, I was led in a PET scanner and then sat in the old chemo chair having round one whilst sobbing loudly ๐Ÿ™ˆ. I just couldn’t accept it.

Friends and family lifted me gradually out of the depression. I don’t think I moved from my bed for 5 days. I couldn’t sleep and when I did, I woke up praying I was in a bad dream. My poor Ivy, she knew something was going on. I was being distant with her, I know it’s awful but I instantly didn’t want her to depend on me because I didn’t know what was going to happen. She crawled into bed with me a few times and even stroked my hair. #heartburst

I spoke to Sara – my breast care nurse and she really changed my thinking around. I asked “how do you know it’s definitely going to come back?” she said “we don’t know that Roisin…. It obviously has a high recurrence rate but you are going to be one of those women I tell my patients about when you’re older.” She said surgery may now be a possibility, that I will probably have my ovaries removed to stop my hormones and they’ll blast me with radio and chemo. I told her I’d read loads of Stage 3C survivor stories and she said to keep on reading them! She also told me patients with a positive attitude can do up to 20% better than others. She said when my oncologist mentioned 3ยฝ years, she simply meant make that your first milestone, then she had also said “make Ivy’s first day at big school your next goal” but I hadn’t heard that.

For the first time in a week, I had some motherfucking hope and I wrapped literally ever fibre of myself around it…. And I’ll never unwrap myself from it.

I have started the keto diet which there is SO much evidence about it fighting and killing cancer cells. Keto is just no carbs or sugar. Cancer cells thrive off sugar so just cut it out. Friends and family have brought us so many gifts, supplements, even a bloody holiday. We are drenched in love and kindness and we just can’t thank each and everyone of you enough.

Just as cancer thrives from sugar, I thrive from the fighting talk, I need it (maybe that makes me a needy little sucker but hey ho). So writing down my feelings, although personal (and some I’ll still keep to myself) reeeeally helps me because I feel SO much support. It’s truly wonderful.

I am doing everything right, I AM going to be there for Ivy’s first AND last day at high school. I am going to grow old with my one true love and our families and friends are going to see us blossom ๐ŸŒธ. We are really reeeeally hoping to still go ahead with adopting our boy… I just need to convince my oncologist to get behind me for that one because I’m going bloody nowhere.

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This week I cried for 40 solid minutes ๐Ÿ™ˆ

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done any blogging… I didn’t realise how therapeutic it really is. I’ve got loads to offload/celebrate!

I had my lovely brother in law come to stay with us from Australia with my bloody lovely nephew and niece. To be honest, I was totally reluctant about John leaving Lins to come to us but she literally had the best 2 weeks ever, being absolutely spoilt from her friends ๐Ÿ’–. John hasn’t been to England for 9 years and the kids were desperate to come. Ivy adooored having them here and my heart ached at how much I know she wants/needs a little brother… We’ll get him eventually Ivy ๐Ÿ’–.

Layla & Ivy.

My poor Layla, she’s such a beautiful little sensitive thing. She’s carrying lots on her little shoulders that she just shouldn’t have to. She reeeeally loves me…. She told me that in a way, she was more worried about me than her mum. I understood and said that was probably because mine is a little bit worse…. She looked at me and said “no, yours is a lot worse, like really bad”. Jesus Christ Layla, cheers!

Poor little babe was so sad to go ๐Ÿ˜ข ๐Ÿ’–.

Sleepovers with lovely Lenny and Layla ๐Ÿ’–

I had another scan to check if/how well my chemo is working. I had found a lump in my ‘good’ breast and my bloods had been a bit bonkers that week so understandably, I was terrified… Everything goes through your head… ‘that pain must mean it’s spread to my liver/bones/head/toenails/eyelashes’ ๐Ÿ˜‚. My scan results were due back on the Wednesday but they weren’t back until the Friday….. 48 long hours passed in slow motion, the fear getting stronger and stronger. The consultants secretary, Lisa (who is absolutely wonderful and the most patient lady on earth) chased the results constantly for me and on Friday, the oncologist called me to tell me they were shriiiiiinking ๐Ÿ’–. There’s no relief like it, a big boost to tell you ‘YOU CAN MOTHERFUCKING DO THIS ROISIN’. After announcing it on Facebook, I was – as always swamped by people genuinely thrilled and relieved for me ๐Ÿ’–. I honestly cannot believe how many of you totally want me to beat this. You’re amazing!

This weekend, I had a video from my friend Nat drunkenly (terribly) singing ‘that’s what friends are for’ and my Friend Bo regularly sends me WhatsApp messages with her rapping ๐Ÿ˜‚. Absolutely cracks me up but I’m all about the power of music. It can get into your bones and your tummy and make you feel totally uplifted when you need it.

Last weekend, our amazing friends came round and we sang a song and played music about boobies. (link at the bottom). OMG I absolutely LOVE it. We had the best fun and the outcome is brilliant – thanks to super editor, Michael ๐Ÿ’–. Cancer is Shiiiit but god, we’ve been having fun spreading the word and raising money ๐Ÿ˜‚.

I’m up to chemo 14/18 now. The side effects aren’t awful all the time but the main one for me at the mo is finger nail pain…. It feels like I’ve had most of them slammed repeatedly in a door. There are so many things I took for granted that hurt ridiculously now;

Fastening buttons

Washing hands/showering

Fastening Ivy’s bobbles

Pistachio nuts are a NO GO ๐Ÿ˜ข

Pulling socks up

Fastening Ivy’s car seat

Screenshotting

And as I discovered last Sunday – opening an Alka seltzer ๐Ÿ™ˆ

But hey ho, it could be a lot worse!

Chemo 13. There was an older couple sat opposite us and these chairs ๐Ÿ‘† can be adjusted with a remote….. Somehow the guy managed to almost fold himself in half on the chair ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ™ˆ. We absolutely lost the plot laughing – the nurse came along and told him he was pressing on the remote with his elbow! Brightened up my chemo.

My sister Lins has had her first chemo and on the same day, a few hours apart, I had my 14th. We are fundraising to hopefully raise enough money for that airport hug when all of our treatment is over ๐Ÿ’–. She is doing incredibly and staying super positive – which is bloody hard when your body and mind are taking an absolute beating.

We have been treated by a pair of beautiful humans to a wonderful few days in the Lakes this week. It was the first break we’ve had since my diagnosis and we couldn’t have wished for more perfect weather. Ivy absolutely loved having our undivided attention and she was an absolute dream. She’s so hilarious. We went on walks, took her to parks and the beach, ate Fish & Chip’s.

We also went bowling and swimming. Here’s where the 40 minute cry happened ๐Ÿ™ˆ.

I couldn’t get in the pool because of my PICC line but I sat on a chair at the edge and watched my 2 little loves, so bloody perfect to me. Just simple days like this forever would make me happy. I imagined not having many more of these moments and me not being there sat by the pool, but instead sat looking down from heaven. I imagined all the things they’d have to do without me and how sad they would be and I just couldn’t stop crying. I heard a little girl ask Ivy where her mum was and I imagined her reply if I wasn’t around any more. Michael got out of the pool to rub my arm and say nice things but the floodgates were open! Sat by the pool, people looking on, big bald head and red puffy eyes. Criiiiiiinge ๐Ÿ™ˆ I found a little booth to sit in and watched through the window instead. So proud of my little babes ๐Ÿ’–.

Later, on the park I heard a girl ask Ivy why her mum didn’t have any hair?

“she cut it off”

“why?”

“because she wanted a baldy head! That’s funny isn’t it”

And off she went to play ๐Ÿ’–. Michael and me beamed at eachother at her response. Ivy knows the medicine made it fall out too and afterwards, she told me she didn’t like the girl talking about my hair ๐Ÿ˜ข. My heart could have literally exploded because even though she’s just 3, she was protective over me…. Which makes me so sad that she has to feel protective already but at the same time, thrilled! Because I know I have a human with the biggest, kindest heart in the world ๐Ÿ’–

When we came out of the pool, I passed an elderly lady in the car park who looked at my bald head and wished me luck. She then told me she has had cancer 4 times, the first being breast cancer 28 years ago ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ‘. I think she was a sign sent to me exactly when I needed something!

I am going to be here, I AM! Cancer is a cruel little tosser. I know I’ll always have to live my life with the fear but for most days, my fight is stronger! Also, my mum keeps cupping my breast every time I see her… Reckons she’s taking the badness away ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜‚.

We had Michael’s parents round for dinner last week, here they are:

Appropriately placed heart to hide the boiler ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ‘†. These two are amazing, always here to help no matter what. They worry about me like I’m their own and I love them like they’re mine ๐Ÿ’–.

Ivy just got into the same school I went to when I was a kid, I’m hopefully going to be volunteering there too. Bring on 7 years of wonderful memories ๐Ÿ’–.

We are fundraising to reunite…. I wish I could tell you how much I need to be with Lins at the end of this. To get Michael me and Ivy to Oz would cost around 4k! My insurance is now absolutely ridiculous and so without the kindness of you and all the fundraising, it just wouldn’t be possible. If any of you would like to sponsor us you can do so here (and I will love you foreverrrrr):

that airport hug ๐Ÿค—

Finally, here is the link to the amazing song. Please have a watch and listen, check your boobs and share share share!

Feel the boobs
Thank you all for always cheering me on. I really love you ๐Ÿ’– โšก ๐ŸŒˆ

London, Preston, Manchester, Pudsey, Belfast, Australia. It’s allllll been goin’ on.

Whewww, it’s been pretty bonkers this past week or so.

After reading about a new medication that hasn’t yet been made available on the NHS but that is showing promising results in keeping cancer away for longer, we made a 500 mile round trip last week. My chauffeur, Michael didn’t even get road rage once!

We paid ยฃ460 for our appointment and three months worth of medication and we’ll have to pay ยฃ260 quarterly. Our BRILLIANT families have helped and will continue to pay for my appointments and Meds……. Amazinggggggg ๐Ÿ‘.

We felt so good after the appointment and after the doctor advised keto diet is a good thing but he would maybe be a bit more balanced…. We pegged it out of Harley St and went for a pizza…… The noises coming out of me needed parental advisory. Sweet mother of God it was so sooooooooooooo good. It was only a one off though and I’m definitely still being strict on the keto…. I can’t possibly not be with so much evidence about it stopping cancer from flourishing. The lovely Health Shack in Preston are keeping me in sweet supply of keto meals too ๐Ÿ’ช.

My Meds arrive by courier the next day….. I am THE WORST person on earth for taking pills ๐Ÿ™ˆ I dry heave and give myself whiplash trying to swallow them. I’ve got 9 a flippin day to take. I think this deserves a round of applause ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘.

After 15 hours on the road, I was absolutely wiped on Thursday and spent the day in bed. By Friday, I was loads better. Ivy went for a sleepover at uncle Allan’s and Aunty Lisa’s and Michael and me had a little – well needed hot date ๐Ÿ’–

Take the day off ๐Ÿ™ˆ

By Saturday, my lovely Aunty Anne and cousin Deirdre arrived to visit me from Belfast ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช. We had such a lovely time and little things like this throughout the week really lifted my spirits ๐Ÿ’–

While we were in the pub, Ivy (who is very proud of my baldy head) came along and took my wig off to show everyone ๐Ÿ™ˆ squirmmmm, I couldn’t let her think I was embarrassed about it though so I just had to go with it and ignore the stares ๐Ÿ˜‚

My brothers had fun with it though ๐Ÿค“….. And my dad and uncle Gerry… And my mum ๐Ÿ˜‚

My brother Sean who has also kicked cancer’s ass came for a lovely visit from Pudsey ๐Ÿ’–

My brothers – minus one ๐Ÿ’–

We cooked a delish Sunday roast for everyone and had a wig trying on seshy! Don’t pretend you didn’t love that rainbow one dad ๐Ÿ‘€.

I’ve been having such a lovely week and although I feel exhausted, I’m really determined to do as much as I can without burning out too much. Chemo 11 was on Monday and it was all plain sailing in comparison to the week before. AMEN

We got to go to Ivy’s first Easter Production at her nursery….. It was really hard not to do a little cry. I was so proud of my little babe confidently dancing around and smiling….. And running back and forth for a snuggle. I also felt a little niggle of sadness. Going through cancer, I have felt myself grieving for a moment while it’s happening…. I don’t want it to be the last time I see this or feel that or be here. I want to be here for every single day to see Ivy bloom and shine and smile and love. And I WILL be but sometimes it’s hard to keep that at the front of your mind.

I think back to the first few days where I was in hell when they told me it was incurable (sorry to use that Shiiiit word). I remember saying to Michael that I just can’t leave Ivy, my little baby. I told him I wanted them to come with me if I go. I know that seems so selfish to say out loud but I just cannot bear the thought of her wanting and needing her mummy and me not being here. I know I am doing everything physically possible to kick this motherfucker out of me and keep it well away. Just look how beautiful she is

๐Ÿ’–

This week my hot sweats have been through the roof. Chemo has stopped my periods and can give you menopausal symptoms (yay). I haven’t slept more than 4 hours in weeeeeeeks, I’m so tired ๐Ÿ˜ด now I understand why all the middle aged women at work ALWAYS want the windows open. (I’m talking to you Jayney May)

Anyway to top my week off, my sister couldn’t make it home because of stupid cancer but she sent her husband and kids to me instead ๐Ÿ’–. I didn’t want them to leave her because I thought she’d be lonely or vulnerable but she is LOVING having some pre chemo pampering and is being loved and looked after by her beautiful friends ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒˆ.

My gorgeous Layla. She’s cutting her lovely hair off on Tuesday to donate to The little Princess Trust who make wigs for children. What a babe ๐Ÿ˜.

Today I’m in bed a little under the weather while all the family are on a day out in Beacon Fell. I’m still adding things to my list…. For everything cancer makes me miss out on, we’ll do 2 things to make up for it. We’re hoping to try and get to my sister later in the year, I’ve even written to Ellen ๐Ÿ˜‚. It’s hard because we have at least 2 appointments a week, then groggy chemo days and we still don’t know how long treatment, surgery and radiotherapy is going to go on for, so we can’t plan any little holidays at all…. And we bloody neeeed one!

Cancer Research UK shared my story this week…… Holy Shiiiit, look how many people are wishing us well. 67 THOUSAND. Absolutely ridiculously amazing ๐Ÿ’– I wish I could thank each and every person. My heart is filled right up x

I’m happy I’m feeling positive again and hopefully this’ll last for aaaaaages. Also, it’s top secret at the mo, but we had a producer from ITV round yesterday and we miiiiiiight be getting a little treat, so cross your fingers toes and eyes for us โค๏ธ

I’ll end with this video of my two little dreamboats

Could not love them more ๐Ÿ’–

Thank you allllll for always spurring me on ๐Ÿ’–โšก๐ŸŒˆ

If you’d like to sponsor us for our big walk for Cancer Research, please click here ๐Ÿ‘‡

punch cancer in the face ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป

Fight pants keep falling down โ˜น๏ธ

I totally and utterly hate being negative but bloody hell, this week has been harrrrddd. It seems to have been hit after hit after hit.

It started when I went to pick my wig up last week. I was there with tiny Ivy 3ยฝ years ago when she was just a little peachy fresh babe. I never thought I’d have to go back there again and as soon as I opened the door, I started crying. I apologised to the lovely ladies there and embarrassingly tried not to ugly cry. I chose the first wig I tried on and had a bit of fun with some others.

I went with the blonde

Michael and me went to the pub afterwards while Ivy was at nursery and I successfully re-found my love of wine. (praise be). When we walked in, Frank Sinatra was playing and I’m sure it was my lovely grandad Joe sending me a message from heaven. “You’ll be okay”. Cried again.

We got home that night to a letter from Preston hospital. It was a copy of my scans I needed for a clinic we’re going to in London to talk about stem cell treatment. On the copy of the letter, it said ‘patient is on palliative chemotherapy’. What the fuuuuuuuuckkk? That invisible man was back with a massive punch to my tummy. I felt sick and had to lie down. No one has mentioned this is palliative to me so far. So to see it written down with no explanation was just horrid. Really horrid. Of course they’ve spoken about it not being curable so I maybe should’ve assumed it was palliative. After speaking to my parents and my friends (who always come out in force when I need them), we realised that palliative can mean a lot of things and that in my case, I was taking it to mean that I’ll always be on maintenance medication but that I would still get to be an old grandma in my back garden baking that blackberry pie.

Hug the pain away ๐Ÿ’–

The day after, we had an appointment at The Christie and it just hadn’t been quite as positive as our first visit…a few “we’re not sures” and “that all depends on scan results”. I know they can’t offer solid answers but it’s pretty hard to take. Overall though, they’ve been amazingly positive. I asked my oncologist there about me being palliative and she said if my cancer had spread a little further up my neck, I would be being treated palliatively and as stage 4 but they’re treating me as stage 3 with the aim of curing me. She did say that this type of cancer does have a high recurrence rate but that’s why they want to be as aggressive as possible. So hit me with everything babes!

We got home that night to the heartbreaking news that my beautiful friend Seema had gone to heaven.

Seema with her little boy, Jai.

We met through a pregnancy app when we were both expecting. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a few weeks later, Seema got in touch to say she had too. Sadly hers recurred about a year later and last week, her amazing and beautiful spirit decided enough was enough. I cried all night for her husband and her parents and her sister. But especially for Seema and for her little boy Jai who is 3 -the same age as my little Ivy. Seema was just 36 – my age. It was all just too close to home for me and my heart absolutely broke knowing the thoughts that would’ve passed through her head and her heart at the idea of having to leave her little baby. I hate cancer so much, it’s a cruel, cruel beast.

I decided that even more so, because of Seema and her family, I am going to absolutely kick the shit out of this. I’ve had enough. Not only that, but I am going to try to LIVE every day of my life, not just exist in it. Seema’s motto was ‘time is precious’. We all need to just think about that and make sure we try – even if it’s only one day a week, try to be kind and happy and bloody spontaneous. Go outdoors, breeeeathe in that fresh air, feel the wind on your skin, smile to people, be happy. We are only on this earth once. Let it make you giddy that you’re alive and healthy.

The morning after Seema died, my friend Bo AKA the one and only Hayley O’Keeffe (who has been amazingggg throughout all this and always finds actual real evidence about super stage 3C survivors) sent me this quote and the song to play

I’ve heard this many times before but that day, I felt it in my bones. You’re damn right this is my fight song. ๐Ÿ’ช โšก ๐ŸŒˆ.

One of my oldest and best friends in the whole world – Nat took me and Ivy to the zoo for a little cheer up and it was lovely…. Just look how much fun Ivy and Martha are having ๐Ÿ‘€

I came home and Michael spent ages getting friendly with my wig ๐Ÿค“

Kurt Cobain eat your heart out ๐Ÿ‘€

Anyway yesterday’s chemo came around and we had a nightmare of a day. Cried for about the 5th time this week ๐Ÿ™ˆ big ugly red faced crying in a jam packed waiting room. Squirmmmm. Some communication break down meant we were left waiting for 4 hours before my 3.5 hour chemo even began. I know I absolutely should not moan when I am getting the chemo I pushed so hard for but I think it just came to a head yesterday. On my way there, my sister facetimed me to say she won’t be able to come home on 28th because her chemo is starting sooner. That’s what I wanted anyway – for her to start chemo and be fixed ASAP but I still felt sad in my tummy that we won’t be getting that airport hug anytime soon.

Christie crying ๐Ÿ˜ข

I’ve worked out that I think most of my treatment will finish by November so we are hoping to save save save and get to Oz for Christmas. So there’s another incentive to beat this little sucker to smithereens.

I had a flashback this week to the day I was told I was incurable and my breast nurse asking if I wanted to make a will. I’d forgotten all about this and the fear punched me in my tummy at the memory. I can only explain the fear of being told your cancer is back as the type of fear I imagine you would feel if you were on a flight and the emergency alarm comes on… the pilot tells you to brace for impact, there’s alarms and bumps and terror. You pray to God you’ll land safely but you have no idea whether or not you’ll make it. That’s the kind of fear I’m in, and I’ve only just taken off on a long haul flight. Sigh. Motherfucking cancer.

Aaanyway, on the plus side this is week, we drank champagne on a Friday night because why wait for an occasion? We drunk sang songs. (have a listen)

Roisin and Michael’s sing and strumathon

We built Rapunzel castles and went to 2 birthday parties

Happy kid ๐Ÿ’–

My lovely school friend Lisa – who is married to Michael’s brother ๐Ÿ’– cake Baker extraordinaire.

We gardened….

We baked

And we lived โ˜บ

Although this blog is cram packed with negative vibes, I know I have to have a few of these to really appreciate the good.

I’ve got a lovely roof over my head, a perfect family, amazing friends, the opportunity to kick this cancer out for good and I’m going to bloody do it. The amount of support I get from each and every one of you that comment with super strong fighting talk or loving positive vibes is just amazing. You have no idea how brilliant I think you are ๐Ÿ’–โšก๐ŸŒˆ

A million trillion thank you’s from the bottom of my heart. We’re off to Harley St in London tomorrow to get this stem cell treatment we’ve been reading about. #knowledgeispower

Lastly, a few people have been asking me where I get my chemo hats from…. They’re not actually hats. Check out my quick tutorial to see how the magic happens ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ‘ณ

Peace, love and silicone โœŒ๏ธ โšก๐ŸŒˆ

click to sponsor our Hadrians wall walk for cancer research UK ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’ชโšก๐ŸŒˆ

I’ll Get By With A Little Help From My Friends ๐Ÿ’–

I’ve not been out in aaaages but this weekend, I’ve had TWO bloody days out and it hurts so good!

I got to do a little 5 miler in preparation for the Hadrian’s wall 26 miler yesterday and today for Mothers Day, we went for a gorgeous walk to Brock bottom

I’ve had the most wonderful time with my little superwoman, Ivy. Her behaviour has been allllll over the place lately. Tantrums, irritable, angry. My poor babe, her little head must be all over the place. She’s being passed around here, there and everywhere while we attend appointments, chemo etc. I was explaining to her yesterday about why I don’t eat sugar anymore and told her about my naughty lump like Aunty Lindsey’s. I told her the medicine would make me better soon and she said “and then will you be like you used to be?”I asked what she meant and she said” happy and funny” ๐Ÿ˜ข total heart pain. She also told me she felt sad because I don’t have brekkie with them anymore ๐Ÿ’”. So I’ve been forcing myself to do more and even though I want to sleeeeep a lot, she’s like a different babe when I’m up and about. So up and about I shall be!

Mothers day cheers ๐Ÿฅ‚

A really, really bad thing has happened. Something I thought I’d never say. I’ve gone off alcohol. WTF? I looooove red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, contreau cocktails! I’m 100% certain this is only a blip and probably to do with the weekly chemo body slam but ughhh I’m usually the best wine drinker I know ๐Ÿท!

I’ve been feeling good lately, worried for my sister who now has to have bloody chemo (which I know she will ace) but I’ve been feeling good for me. It’s hard to think or even remember how low I was only weeks ago. I feel like I should remind myself of the terror just so I know how hard I need to keep fighting but at the same time it’s good to feel like dying isn’t an option here. Today after Ivy went to bed, I had an unexpected cry. Just a little hint of fear crept in. “what if this is my last one with her?” Her little voice echoing “HAPPY MOTHERS DAYYYY” I’m pushing that fear away but it just felt a bit harder tonight – tosser.

Very proud of her choice of earrings ๐Ÿ’–

My hair is almost down to the bone now. When people visit, I constantly say “don’t look at me, I look like a cancer victim”. Or if I bump into people I’ve not seen for a while, I feel the need to point to my head and say “I’m bald” ๐Ÿ™ˆ awkwaaard

๐Ÿ‘† I’m bald

I’m going to choose a wig tomorrow. When I went for one on my first diagnosis, they tried all sorts of shite on me. They told me I suited one that made me look like flippin Jessica from ‘murder she wrote’

Wish me luck ๐Ÿ™ˆ

I’ve also got another appointment at The amazing Christie on Wednesday ‘just to see how treatment is going and to discuss further surgery, radio and chemo. I think it’s pretty much going to take up this whole year but hey ho. Get this little motherfucker gone for good. Here’s a screenshot of my calendar from last month – everything in yellow is cancer related. God bless our NHS

This is pretty much life for the next few months!

I’ve been dreaming up amazing things we can do after treatment. One of them is CROWDSURFING ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m going to have to make this happen! We want to go camping lots with Ivy. We’re hoping to go to Croatia and we’re taking Ivy to her first festival in July at Kendal Calling…. All these incentives will keep the fight strong ๐Ÿ’ช โšก ๐ŸŒˆ

Some of my lovely friends are planning a girls beach hol too which I absolutely cannot wait for. I would just be in a different frame of mind altogether were it not for my friends. I bloody love you allllll ๐Ÿ’–.

Because my sister is now looking at chemo and surgery, she might not make it over in March. ๐Ÿ˜ข we will both be so heartbroken. All I can think of is that airport hug – I even asked Michael would he film our reunion in slow motion ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚. BUT deep deep deeeeep down, I want her to stay and not delay in getting the little asshole sorted. Massive sigh.

I’ve been experimenting with turbans a lot, I looooove them and I’ll probably even wear them when my hair grows back!

This week was chemo number 9 at the Christie

It’s such a busy unit. The nurses bust their asses but we are well looked after. Although this week, with the travelling and delays, we were out for almost 10 hours…. Yawnnnn – it’s all for a greater good though โ˜บ

Anyway, I’m waffling again but can I just say this week I have read about Daim ice cream,
Mcdonalds apple pie ice cream and Biscoffi ice cream!!!!! FFS I neeeeeed it! #sugaryoubastard

Personally knitted socks from lovely Louise helped brighten up our house this week. Seriously everyone, stop spoiling us (I only half mean that) ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m just worried that when I get better, you’re all going to be poor ๐Ÿ™ˆ.

I’ll end this with a great big thank you to my number one woman. My mum – hard as nails, soft as mashed potatoes ๐Ÿฅ” happy mothers day, you wonderful creation. You’re bonkers and fiery and kind and magical. You’ve bloody had it tough but you hold it together for us. We love you so much

๐Ÿ’–โšก๐ŸŒˆ

For all those out there who can’t be with their mummy or with their baby or haven’t yet managed to get your little baby, my heart is with you today ๐Ÿ’–#stronggirlsclub

I’m off now to get strong and dream of holidays, sugar, pizza and wine. Can I get a HELL YEAHHH โšก ๐ŸŒˆ ๐Ÿ’–

If you’d like to sponsor us to end cancer one day, please do by clicking here ๐Ÿ‘‡

cancer you dickkkkkk

Shit shit shit shit Shiiiit

It’s all about my sister this week. Fucksake cancer, GIVE US A BREAK. Goddddddd, we are good people… I’m sure we are.

She fiiinally had her lumpectomy last week. They’d told her it was 1.5cm and would bloody need radiotherapy or a mastectomy. I’ve just been on facetime with her after she’s been for her results. Turns out the sucker is 4cm… Way bigger than we thought and it’s also made its way along to her lymph node. ABSOLUTE TOSSER. (apologies for all the swearing in here but I’m so PISSED OFF).

We’re too far away from each other, it’s too hard today for me to bear. I don’t feel like being positive, I feel like driving somewhere remote and SCREAMING my lungs out as hard as I can because it just really isn’t fair. It’s not.

Smile, though your heart is breaking ๐Ÿ’”

I don’t understand how one family can take so much suffering. Our poor parents. 3 of their 6 children given a cancer diagnosis, how can they cope with it? ๐Ÿ˜ข

They’re torn because they want to be with her but can’t leave me. Mum has so many health issues that the long flight could be difficult for her. I’m worried they’re going to become ill with the stress. My head is just a whirlwind.

I crumbled when Lins put the phone down. She’s always so tough (just like my mum), but they are both absolute marshmallows on the inside and I can see the suffering in their faces. I had the biggest, overwhelming urge to just pull Lindsey out of my phone and squeeze and squeeze and cry with her.

She has always mothered me. Growing up, she’d let me get in the top bunk with her if I had a bad dream. Let me use her perfume and borrow her clothes when she went to uni. She was a bit of a mosher, I thought she was the coolest. She let me have sleepovers in her student houses and when she moved to Oz when I was 15, she told me to get to college, do well and then go and live with her for a year when I was 18…..which I did ๐Ÿ’–

We love each other so much and now I feel like I just want to mother her and I can’t and it hurts ๐Ÿ˜ข. I feel because I’ve been where she is two times now, that I could help her if we were nearer. I’ve got skills and strength and knowledge and power and I want to give them all to her, and more. My poor Lindsey.

Her beautiful children are old enough to understand and to be frightened. She doesn’t want them to see her lose her hair or to tell them she’ll need chemotherapy. She doesn’t want them to see her in pain and sick but there is no choice.

BUT anger won’t do us any good, we know that deep down… It’s time to pull up our fighting pants to an all time wedgie level HIGH and prepare ourselves for the fights of and for our lives.

We’re going to have more adventures Lins, like the time we both went out in Sydney, got hammered and then both had to throw up in a sick bag on the flight back to Melbourne. Crying because we didn’t want to be sick on take off…. and laughing hilariously because we had to keep hold of our sick bags until we got off the flight because we were too embarrassed ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Or the time I got booed off the stage for forgetting the words to ‘Neighbours’ at a neighbours themed night…. Only to be rescued by HAROLD BISHOP and win ๐Ÿ˜‚

Or the time we bought a magnum ego and the bus driver told us ‘no food on the bus’ so we panic ate the whole thing with major head freeze and laughed hysterically.

I think this whole shitty situation will make us prioritise seeing and being with each other as much as we financially can! I wish you could just be here with me now though.

Lins has been a primary school teacher for 20 years now, she’s ALWAYS been determined and I know she will nail this fight hands down. I just really wish it wasn’t one she had to tackle. We’re all with you deep in your heart Lins and love you so bloody much. Our brother Sean beat it, I’m going to beat it and you’re going to bring home the hat trick for the Pelans’. KICK IT AS HARD AS YOU CAN.

This song has always reminded me of you and now you really do ‘gotta be stronger’ and love really will save the day….

you gotta be

I’ve got your back Lins ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’ชโšก๐ŸŒˆ

Please click here to help us to raise money for Cancer Research and find a cure sooner. I cannot bear the thought of our children ever having to go through this. x

kick it, kick it real good ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’ชโšก๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’–

Good news in abundance ๐Ÿ’–

Wooo, this past week or so has just been bonkers. Bonkers in a pretty brilliant way.

I went for my scan results to find that my main tumor in my supraclavicular has shrunk by about HALF!!!! I was so nervous for the results… working in Oncology can be a curse because you hear all sorts of scenarios and outcomes. When you’re waiting to hear of your own outcome, you try to stay positive but the ‘what ifs’ spring up all over the place.

So I went to see my Oncologist; Dr Y with baited breath and she was like… Oh yeah, the scan’s fine! I wanted to jump up and shriek and hug Michael but it was all strangely calm. She then told me the chemo wouldn’t totally get rid of the cancer and that’s what radiotherapy and hopefully surgery is for….. I’m praying they agree to surgery!

Little celebratory wine ๐Ÿท

The day after, we were at the Christie Hospital in Manchester for a 2nd opinion on two different kind of chemos I’ve been reading LOTS about but that they wouldn’t authorise at Preston. We saw a wonderful oncologist at the Christie and I wanted to hug her and never let go when she said YES!!!! She explained the consultants had a big discussion about me before my appointment and they all agreed they want to be as aggressive as possible with my treatment and even talked of motherfucking curing me again!!!!! They even asked me did I want more children – and then I cried. Just the fact that they saw this as an option for me told me they really did want to do everything humanly possible to make me ok. The reason they asked is because the new chemo can shut my ovaries down and put me into menopause. So they wanted to make sure. I told them we’ve been approved to adopt and our little boy is out there waiting for us.

I had also asked about another chemo when this one finishes that I’ve read about (Capecitabine). She explained that she would look into it when the time comes. The day after, she called me and said they’d had another meeting about me and not only agreed the capecitabine but also another chemo on top of that one called Vinorelbine. They had agreed this is their shot at curing me so they literally want to hit me with everything!

I just feel so incredibly supported and like I have a team of people who don’t even know me but want to do absolutely everything they can. I’m going to do this shit!

As Preston have declined my treatment, I have to go to the Christie every week now for chemo which is an 80 mile round trip…. We have no car at the mo so THANKS to Michael’s parents for lending yours to us and to my parents for having Ivy all day. We’d be lost without all this support. At the same time, we’ll do anything to make sure I get this super duper treatment. The first dose of the new chemo made me feel rotten but hey ho, rough with the smooth!

My amazing, beautiful big sister who is kicking breast cancer in the face over in Australia finally had her surgery yesterday and is now cancer free, she’ll have to have radiotherapy or a double mastectomy to make sure the tosser buggers off for good. I miss her so much and just cannot wait to have our airport hug. I still can’t believe it’s happening ๐Ÿ˜”

Sleeping beauty ๐ŸŒป

My hair is getting balder and balder by the day, I’ve just got stubble at the mo and it’s quite sore and itchy. Ivy painted me some hair on today ๐Ÿ˜•

Very pleased with her little self!

We still have so much support, it’s incredible. We keep saying “we need to do something to thank them/him/her” but I honestly wouldn’t know where to start. Just THANK YOU SO MUCH everyone, for the messages, the love, the prayers the tips, I just honestly adore you all.

I’ve been on a high since the Christie and I hope it stays that way. At the same time, it’s been a bit shit that me being tired and a bit poorly has just become the norm for my little Ivy. She came and sat in my bedroom the other day with the guitar. She asked “are you still poorly mummy?” I told her I was just a bit tired and I’d be okay soon. She said “I’ll just wait and wait until you’re fixed mummy” ๐Ÿ’” my poor, lovely babe. We haven’t had a day out in so long, so many appointments to go to and days when I feel too poorly. She really is my little dream girl

I’ve been being looked after by the amazing Health Shack in the Miller arcade. Unbelievable generosity and just the kindness they’ve offered has been amazing. Shout out to the lovely Jonny

The Health shack are sorting out keto meals for me as part of my recovery. There’s so much out there that points to a keto diet helping with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and weight loss. What have you got to lose?! ๐Ÿ’– I just can’t thank them enough!

I had a gorgeous visit from my friend Ashley today who had first told me about keto. She’s had a totally shit time herself and I’m just amazed that people like her exist, and just want to bring kindness and love into my life. You’re amazing ๐Ÿ’– (and tiny – are you standing up properly?!) ๐Ÿ˜‚

Ivy’s nursery, Maxy Farm walked the guild wheel at the weekend to raise money for Cancer research ๐Ÿ’– The sun shone for them and they all finished the 22 miles…. Blisters and all. One of them had to have 3 flippin stitches in her foot afterwards. OMG that is dedication, we think you’re all absolutely brilliant ๐Ÿ‘

So the next few weeks is about chemo, scans, discussions and trying to squeeze in fun โ˜บ it’s hard when you feel so bloody poo but like Michael says “short term pain for long term gain” and I’m going to have the motherfucking long term gain.

I’ve got too much to fight for and live for and love for. There’s a little boy out there waiting for us and there’s my little bestie who needs her night time snuggles

I love my life so much. Today I feel positive and loved and optimistic. I love you all for your support, I truly do. Keep it coming, you little loves โšก๐ŸŒˆ

Someone sponsored me this week for the Hadrians wall walk and commented saying ‘the world’s on your side Roisin’ and it totally feels that way โšก๐ŸŒˆ (thanks Jemma G) x

Here’s the link if you’d like to help cancer bugger off the face of the earth:

piss off cancer

Fight Over Fear โšก๐ŸŒˆ

It’s been a bad week for me this week. I’ve been in that dark, hellish place where Fear is the boss of everything. The devil on my shoulder telling me horrible things;

  • It’s spread into your liver Roisin, that’s what that funny pain is.
  • Your mum and dad are going to be broken when you die.
  • Ivy’s going to get a new mummy and forget all about you.
  • Michael’s going to be sad all the time when you go.
  • Someone else is going to live in your home on the road you always hoped to live on.
  • What song are you going to choose for your funeral?
  • Who’s going to carry your coffin?

It hurts me even to write all these down for people to see. In my darkest moments, it engulfs me. I really have to force myself not to burst into tears when I look at Ivy or if someone suggests doing something ‘in a few months’…. Because who knows what’s going to happen?! Last week, I just couldn’t be positive at all.

I went to a hospital appointment and walked past the maternity ward – knowing I’ll never get to feel that proud swell of my tummy again, the nervous excitement of pregnancy. Infuriatingly, there were women in dressing gowns outside, smoking!

I never feel angry at others about my diagnosis but that day I did! I’d never, ever, ever wish cancer upon anyone but I did feel pissed off!! I did absolutely everything right when I was pregnant; no booze, no patรจ, no shellfish but cancer still chose me.

I saw women with their children in town. One having a giggle and a hot choccie, another holding hands with her 7/8 year old on the escalator and I just felt sad. To have that relaxing love with your child, so many people take it for granted. Just the expectation that you will live to see them grow old.

Since my original diagnosis in 2014, there have only been small moments where I’ve pictured her riding a bike, or baking, or taking her to school. I’ve always been too scared to dare to imagine other possibilities… Like there’s a constant film of fear just underneath my skin. It’s really really shit.

Mum and dad to the rescue when I was feeling sad…. Mum brought her knitting ๐Ÿ™ˆ ๐Ÿ’–

My poor mum and dad, rock hard for me but I can see the suffering in their eyes, for me and my sister. It hurts me in my heart to know how much their hearts are hurting. Just PISS OFF CANCER ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป

We went to see the psychologist in Oncology. I know her from work and I saw her last time I was diagnosed. She’s the loveliest, warmest lady for the job. I should point out here that if you have any sort of depression, sadness, bad thoughts, please don’t be ashamed/afraid of getting help. Our brains are complex things capable of sending us on highs, lows and everything in between. I always think, if you had a sore arm, you’d go to the doctor, so why not go with a sore mind?!

It really helped us and she told me to keep up with the blog (which she’d read) as it can be quite therapeutic and the support I get back from it totally spurs me on. โšก๐ŸŒˆ

Anyway, by Friday morning after a week of being up and down and on the edge, I’d finally read enough positive 3C stories and been in touch with some lovely women who are still going strong yeeeears after diagnosis – I was finally ready to pull my fighting pants back up to wedgie level ๐Ÿ’ช ๐Ÿ‘– โšก

My oncologist has referred me to The Christie Hospital this Wednesday for a 2nd opinion on another type of chemo (Carboplatin), I really want it so cross your fingers for me. I just want to be as aggressive as possible with this motherfucker and then do everything I possibly can to keep it away.

Being positive is said to help patients do up to 20% better- so positive I shall be. I’m nailing the keto diet and reading all about how stem cells are the ring leaders in helping cancer to spread. Anti-inflammatories can help keep those tossers away so I’m a busy little researcher this week. Having some sort of control of my body and life again feels LIBERATING. Knowing I don’t have to literally put my life in other people’s hands feels good.

I’m going to juice and bake and cook and run and eat this cancer away. I can feel the largest lump in my supraclavicular node shrinking all the time ๐ŸŽ‰.

Friday marked my 6th chemo at Rosemere. The staff and patients are just the loveliest ๐Ÿ’– A lady I worked with years ago and who goes by the name of Aunty Jan /Mamma J works on the ward. She is a little ray of sunshine โ˜€ she’s nicknamed me ‘Roisin the fighting machine’ I bloody love her. On my first chemo, only the day after I’d found out. I sobbed loudly with just a curtain separating me from other patients (sorry about the loud crying) and Aunty Jan hugged me and just understood as much as someone could. Shout out to Mamma Jayyyyyyyyyy๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป

Chemo went well and we went out for some lunch at the health shack in the Miller arcade…. There aren’t many places I can easily get a keto meal from and this was delish ๐Ÿ‘Œ

#ketoforthecure

Then back home to see my little Ivy Brown (who currently only goes by the name Rapunzel). She’d been spoilt by grandma and grandad ๐Ÿ’–

Those teefs ๐Ÿ’–

All I need to do is look at her, push that fear away and stamp on it really hard. As long as I’m breathing, I’ll be fighting for a long life filled with things most people unknowingly take for granted…. Looking at her face, listening to her breathing, watching her playing with her friends and deliver valentines cards ๐Ÿ˜‚

She got a card back from her little crush and asked ‘does this mean Netflix?’ Jesus Ivy, no Netflix and chill for a verrrry long time ๐Ÿ™ˆ

We were having a little dance on Valentines Day and she was swirling her beautiful orange hair around. She whispered to me “mummy I don’t really like your baldy head” and then straight away, I could tell my little babe felt guilty and she said “hehe I do really mummy, I was only joking you” ๐Ÿ’”. I said to her…. To be honest Ivy, I don’t like it that much either but one day it’s going to grow back and we can be swirly girls together ๐Ÿ’–. I asked if we should go and find my old wigs and try them on…… Introducing Gail Platt on your right

๐Ÿ˜‚

Here’s my little wonder woman helping mummy in the bath ๐Ÿ›€

Don’t let your PICC ‘wine’ get wet mummy, I will wash you ๐Ÿ’–

My lovely Michael has been having a bit of a hard time too. I can’t imagine what he’s going through but I’m guessing it’s shit. He’s doing most of the house work and cooking and Ivy-ing. On top of that he’s got his own scary thoughts (although he is amazing at being positive). I’m just so thankful for my real life super duper human ๐Ÿ’–

We are going to be okay. I’ve found lots more nutritional advice, I think I’ve convinced them to operate on my supraclavicular. I’m hoping to talk to the top dogs at The Christie to give me this Carboplatin and I’m climbing and climbing the rungs up to the verrry top of the positivity ladder.

Thanks so much to each and everyone of you who helps to get me fired up when my flame falters. Sometimes I want to find you and cling to you like a koala when you say something so bloody spot on ๐Ÿ’‹ ๐Ÿ’‹ ๐Ÿ’‹ you’re amazing.

I wish I could get back to you all personally to thank you for your incredibly generous sponsors….. We’re over 2K now thanks to you โ˜บ. I hope you know how much my heart leaps when I get a ‘new sponsor’ notification. It’s just the best.

Remember to not take things for granted, breathe in that fresh air and be motherfucking thankful โšก๐ŸŒˆ#fightoverfear x

If you’d like to sponsor, click here and I’ll (mentally) hug you. โœŒ๏ธ

bugger off cancer, ya bastard.