ovarian cancer

Macmillan Masquerade Ball

When I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer early this year I told my family that I’d always wanted to go to a Masquerade Ball. 

So, my lovely big sister Pam decided she’d organise one and raise all funds for Macmillan Tayside.

In the following months she was joined by my parents and friends as they began planning the perfect night.

Through the power of social media, local support grew quickly and before they knew it they were having regular committee meetings, dedicating their free time to raising as much money as possible for Macmillan!

Last night it was finally time to party and it was incredible! I was completely blown away by the support of friends and local business owners who had donated their time and services to help with everything including table decorations, chair covers, photography, cakes, goodie bags, auction and raffle prizes and music! Everything for a perfect night was thought of and everything was provided to the best standard!

There were also a few special surprises for me including a signed photograph of Nina Conti, Ewan and I – some of you who have read my blog for a while will know that my Macmillan nurse arranged for me to meet Nina (my fav comedian!!) after my surgery!

And…

A surprise appearance and performance from Cautlyn Vanbeck and Jamie Lee Morly from this year’s xfactor…which was amazing!

Again some of you may know that before Caitlyn appeared on the xfactor she was busking in Edinburgh and I gave her one of my random acts of kindness! Boy did I get a surprise when she appeared on the telly a few weeks later! So when my sister asked for her support last night she was delighted to ‘pay it forward’. She is such a sweet pea! I was in tears I was so shocked!

I feel very blessed!

And!…as if that wasn’t enough…the final fundraising figure has been calculated and they raised on incredible £7777.77!!!

Yes all the 7s!! 💚💚💚

Which, incidentally, is a sign of perseverance, healing, ability to bear hardship, endurance and inner strength! How awesome is that!

I’m sure you will all agree this is an incredible figure from just one event!

Last night my sister asked me what was my favourite part of the night and, after some time thinking this over, I realise that it is simply the knowledge that so many people love me and my hubby so much that they are willing to support an event like this. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!…I loved every single second and I can honestly say it was the best night of my life!

I’ll remember and cherish it always.

Love and light, Fi xxxx

Find Fi on Facebook

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This event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the following amazing people and organisations! Thank you so much!

25 Airdneiskich

2plus10 Clothing

AliBob at Cairn O’Mohr

Amanda Thomson Independent Phoenix Trader

Amy Annand Flowers

Angie B Photography

Anne Russell

B Designed Design & Print

Bears and Buddies Workshop

Blair Athol Distillery

Bodle Landscape

Boots UK

British Military Fitness Perth

Bruadar

Café Kisa

Café Tabou

Caitlyn Van Beck

Cath Kidston

Charlene’s Bespoke Bows and Cakes

Clarins

Clark Thomson Chartered Insurance Brokers

Copperfields Hairdressing & Beauty

Covers & Candelabras

Craic N’ Hair 

David Annand

Delightful events

Delivino Auchterarder

Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery

Direct Shine

Discover Beauty

Dundee Science Centre

Dunfermline Athletic Football Club

Fairy and Clean Treats

Fiona Whittet Make up Artist

Foxlake Adventures

Freedom Fitness Dundee

Gavin Clark

Glamazon

Greenleaf Creative

Heart of Scotland Tours

Ian Emmett Photography

Itison Dundee

James Grant Group

Jamie Lee Morly

John Gillespie Hairdressing

Killin Thyme

Lainey Mac’s Garret

Ledyatt Trout Fishery

Lloyds Banking Group

Lodge on the Caley

Macmillan Nurses Pam and Erica

Macmillan Perth Committee

Make Believe Events 

McLeod Glaziers

Miles-Moore Ceramics

Morris & Young

Nicole Catterall

Paper Heart Gifts

Perfect Endings

Rangers Football Club

Rosa’s Thai Cafe

Soaperstars

Stagecoach Group

Struan Toyota

Taypark House

Tesco

The Barber Lounge

The Bathroom Company

The Beauty Room

The Body Shop

The Flame Tree Cafe

The Hideaway Experience

The Salutation Hotel

The ugly duckling

Thorntons

Tropic Skin Care by Gill McIntosh

United for All

Urban Disco Perth

Viva B

Waterstones Dundee

Wicked Chocolate Company

Wishy Washy Cleaning Services

You Dirty Scrub

Zenith Fitness Training

Also a huge thank you to all of the individuals who have supported this incredible event (of which there are too many to mention individually), your support means the world to me and millions of people like me who, thanks to you, won’t have to face cancer alone 💚💚💚

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ovarian cancer

Can you help?…

We are organising a charity masquerade ball for Macmillan.
We are looking for sponsorship and donations from businesses to help reduce essential event costs and increase the total profits so that Macmillan nurses can help more people affected by cancer.

Sponsorship options are as follows:-

Gold: Main Event Sponsor

💙Cost £1000

💙Named as main event sponsor

💙Featured on photography backdrop to appear on facebook/twitter and in local press

💙Dual branding at event with Macmillan

Silver: Welcome Drinks Package Sponsor

💜Cost £800 

💜Named as drinks package sponsor with branding space available on bar.

Bronze: Auction Sponsor

💚Cost £600

💚Named as auction sponsor at event – branding space available on silent auction table

💚Named/thanked on facebook page for silent auction

Name a Table

❤️Cost £500 per table

❤️Named on table as sponsor

❤️Named on official seating plan

In addition to the above, all businesses who sponsor the event will be:

🌟Mentioned in pre and post event news articles in local press.

🌟Mentioned in pre and post event official Macmillan Scotland Facebook Posts

🌟Able to include organisation information in goody bags for approx 230 guest

🌟Thanked during the event 

🌟Thanked in my blog/facebook – my blog now has over 24000 readers and my Facebook has an average reach of 5000 people per post 

💕 We are also looking for businesses to donate raffle and silent auction prizes or goody bag donations*

Again these businesses will benefit from public thanks from myself and Macmillan Scotland 💕

Interested?

Please contact Pamela on pemcallister@live.co.uk

We are also happy to consider specific requests/alternative proposals for sponsorship.

Thank you.
Love and light, Fi xxx
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*Goody Bag Donations – Any item valued at £3 or over donated for the goody bags can be accompanied with an additional money off voucher/promotional leaflet for that business. Bags can support a leaflet up to A5 in size. Minimum donation of 30 items.

ovarian cancer

Bungee Jump -Videos

Today I met the two amazing women who received my first random act of kindness and watched them both do their bungee jump for Macmillan Cancer Support 💚💚💚

If you are new to my blog – When my loved ones raised £500 for my husband and I to treat ourselves following my operation we made the decision to use the money to do random acts of kindness for complete strangers…

We didn’t want to profit from my diagnosis and the idea of sharing the love and kindness given to us filled me with so much more happiness than spending it on something ever could.

The recipients of my first envelope decided to pay it forward by doing a bungee jump to raise money for Macmillan. In doing so they have raised over £3000! Incredible or what?! 💙💚💙

This incredibly brave and generous gesture has since been featured in a number of press articles.

It was so heartwarming to finally meet them and their supporters! I haven’t laughed so much in ages! They are both truely wonderful women and had even had awesome tshirts made stating:

I wear teal for Fiona. Love and light!

How gorgeous is that! 💙💙💙


It’s crazy to think that, despite having chatted to them loads over messages since they got in touch a month ago, we have never actually officially met before. I feel like I’ve known them for ages! Their names have certainly become infamous with my friends and family! I feel blessed that our paths have crossed and that they have been so incredible in raising money for Macmillan – another reason to be thankful for my diagnosis.

I watched them jump with my parents and husband alongside their supporters and there was such a great energy with everyone laughing and cheering them on. I felt extremely honoured to have been made to feel such a welcome part of their day.

Watching the jump was extremely nerve wracking! Here were two women throwing themselves off a bridge because of me! I can’t begin to tell you how anxious I was hoping that everything would go smoothly! Thankfully, of course, everything was amazing and they both had a great time…or so they tell me 💚

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​I still can’t believe they actually did a bungee jump! It’s just such utter beautiful madness! 

I think these ladies are wonderful and I can never express how grateful I am for their awesome ‘leap of faith’. I think they are both incredibly brave and selfless and I never could have dreamt that so much good would come from handing out a simple envelope with £20 in it!

If you would like to support either of them in their fundraising for Macmillan you can do so by using the following links:-

The world needs more people in it like these two incredible ladies 💙💚💙

Love and light, Fi xxx 

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Meeting Nina Conti

Well I am just the happiest person in the whole wide world!

Just 3 days after after coming home from hospital and only 17 days after an operation during which all of my reproductive organs plus 3 other organs were completely removed and 4 other organs were partially removed, with the help of my amazing(!!) Macmilan Nurse I not only made it see my favourite comedian and ventriloquist Nina Conti tonight…but…I was also invited to meet her backstage! I am on cloud nine!


I had bought front row seats for her show in Perth Concert Hall for my husband, a friend and I in the hope that I would be well enough to go. I explained to my Macmillan Nurse that I wanted to go and she agreed that it would be a good thing to aim for. Not only that but she phoned Perth Concert Hall to explain the situation and ask for their help – once again demonstrating the wonderful impact and support Macmillan can offer in every aspect of care. Perth Concert Hall not only took on board what she had explained to them but from the moment we arrived at the venue they treated us like VIP guests. We were escorted to our seats before everyone else (me in a wheel chair from the British Red Cross), they were on hand throughout and explained that if we needed anything at any point that they would be there for us. During the interval they checked we were OK and explained that Nina would like to meet us after the show. Again they escorted us there and I felt safe and supported throughout the whole experience.

The show itself was incredible! If you don’t know who Nina is then you seriously have to look her up on YouTube…I promise she won’t disappoint! If you do know who she is then you will understand my excitement at the fact that not only did the show include Monkey and her usual masks for the audience, but Granny also made a surprise appearance, making the evening even more special!

Nina is my absolute favourite comedian and also, I’m now pleased to say, a really lovely person. This is a moment I will cherish always, particularly in the challenging days ahead.
With a million thank yous to Macmillan, Perth Concert Hall and Nina Conti for making this happen.

Love and light, Fi xxx

ovarian cancer

Gratitude and Thanks: Chemo 4 – Day 6

As always after a chemo session I expect to feel much better much too soon and as a result often push myself too hard before my body has had a chance to recover…not that I’m stubborn!…

So instead of focusing on the side affects I’m feeling…which are the same as yesterday with some extra fatigue and sickness…I’ve decided to write a little bit about gratitude… 

  
When in these first few days post chemo, especially during a ‘come down’ from steroids, it is easy to get caught up in the sadness and pain of feeling ill and forget to see all that there is to be grateful for.

But there is always something to be grateful for…

…Today I am grateful for the sun shining long enough that I could go for for a brief walk before siting in our garden with our chickens, cats and dog…how do we have five pets?!  

I’m also grateful for the wonderful messages I’ve received today. Messages of love and support and solidarity all letting me know that I am not alone and that I am in people’s thoughts. These messages come in different forms – photos, videos, links to articles or podcasts, comments – but all serve to fill me with love and hope. Some come from much loved old friends and some from new friends I’ve met on my journey or who are going through their own cancer journeys. It really costs nothing to show someone you care and it can make such a difference – thank you!

  I don’t really have much energy to write this evening but I wanted to end this post by passing on some gratitude from Macmillan whom I have been fundraising for since my diagnosis. The following is taken from a second email of thanks that I received from them this week…

Well done on your fantastic achievement! You’ve done an incredible job with your fundraising and it was really inspiring to read your story on Just Giving. You truly are an amazing person and we wouldn’t be able to continue with the work we do without dedicated fundraisers like you.

Just to put your fundraising into perspective, the money you raised could keep a Macmillan information and support centre stocked with all the information resources it needs for a whole year. These resources would include booklets, guides, directories and leaflets and are vital to ensure people affected by cancer get the support they need.

Now if that isn’t pretty awesome and worthy of a little gratitude and thanks then I don’t know what is!

Thank you to everyone for your love and support.

Happy Saturday, Fi xx

 

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The benefits of exercise… 

After years of doing research and writing research papers I’ve now been given the opportunity to be in one…Macmillan are doing a national study to look at the affects of exercise on cancer treatment and prognosis.

To do this they have employed and trained personal trainers across the UK to work with cancer patients to develop a specialist program of exercise. In Scotland they are working in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dundee and the Borders. Patients involved in the study will be given 12 free sessions and then unlimited sessions for a low fee each month for the rest of their lives. In exchange their fitness, response to treatment and side affects to cancer and treatment will be monitored every three months. The results of the study will be published by Macmillan later next year. It is hoped that the evidence will demonstrate that exercise has a positive impact on all aspects of a cancer patient’s care, their response to treatment, and whether or not they relapse. If proven effective, this scheme will be spread across other areas.

I feel both honoured and privileged to have been asked to be a part of this study. Not only will it allow me to bring back one of the joys in my life but it also gives me an opportunity to play an active part in the growing research in the importance of providing holistic patient care. More importantly it enables me to be a part of shaping what holistic cancer care may look like in the future.

I am really excited about this opportunity and hope to see some good results in recovering my fitness, strength and lung capacity.

Watch this space…

love and light, Fi xx

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Press: Just Giving

Just Giving have published my story for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Have a read…

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30-year-old Fi is battling stage 4 ovarian cancer. Not only is she raising money to thank the Macmillan Cancer Support nurses who have been there for her, she’s raising awareness so every women knows the symptoms.

Every year, 7,000 women in the UK are diagnosed, and 4,300 women die of ovarian cancer – that’s 12 women every day. Do you know the symptoms? Take a look at Fi’s fundraising page and find out more – http://just.ly/support-Fi

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love and light, Fi xx