kindness, ovarian cancer

RAOK – Paying it Forward 

I delivered another Random Act of Kindness today. It is honestly still my favourite thing to do! This one was extra special though as it came from someone else…

Despite the fact that I am meant to be resting I needed to go and order new glasses as I broke mine teaching kids yoga. Yes I know, if I’d been resting they wouldn’t have got broken…blah blah…

Anyway…I used to work in my local opticians so I let them know I’d be popping by. One of the women that works there reads my Facebook (**waves**) and so she dropped me a message to tell me to say hi when I was in.

This I did and I’m so glad! She is without doubt one of the loveliest souls I’ve ever met. No I’m not just saying that because she will read this! She welcomed me with a warm and enthusiastic hug like no other and then surprised me by giving me a ‘random act of kindess’ envelope with money inside and asked me to ‘pass it on’.

I was so touched! I love when other people join in!

Leaving the shop I was still smiling when I went to buy some ‘jeggings’ – I hate that word but basically I need jeans with legging tops now I have a colostomy bag…anyway I’m going off topic (again!)

So I was trying them on and while doing so I could hear two friends chatting through the curtain of the cubicle next to me.

Their utter joy and laughter was infectious! From their ensthusiastic batter I gathered that one was helping the other buy a selection of clothes for various up coming events. What struck me was their passion. The one trying on the clothes was so unashamedly grateful for her friend’s help. Lsughing loudly she kept thanking her and declaring that she had ‘never looked so good’ and ‘couldn’t wait to show people’. The whole dialogue screamed LOVE!

I was really touched and knew straight away that I’d have to give them the envelope I’d just been passed moments before.

As I left I slipped the envelope into one of their hands and was met with the usual look of confusion and a mumbled ‘thankyou’ which, when combined, always translates  as ‘who the f*ck is this crazy woman handing me an envelope’.

As ever, it gave me so much joy and I hope the ladies got as much out of it as I did. I just love being able to pass on acts of kindness in this way.

So, tell your friends you love them;  be unashamedly you; and scatter kindness around wherever you go!

Oh and always remember you are beautiful!

Love and light, Fi xxx

ovarian cancer

#LifeWithCancer

In January 2016 I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. I was just 30 years old.

Overnight my whole world changed as words like ‘incurable’, ‘advanced’ and ‘aggressive’ filled my life.

I though that was it. I thought my life was over.

It turns out that I was wrong.

You see, positivity comes from within and life is what you make it…

As for #LifeWithCancer, it’s been pretty awesome!

I’ve done some incredible things since I was diagnosed. I’ve set up my own Bliss yoga business for kids and adults, I’m about to publish a book to help other people facing adversity, I’ve been in two BBC documentaries, I’ve swum with sharks, been on a cruise, been to award ceremonies (and even won some award!), walked at the top of a mountain, most importantly I’ve started truly LIVING!

You see #LifeWithCancer doesn’t have to be the end…it can be the beginning of something wonderful. So go out and grab life. Claim it, live it and love every second of it because at the end of the day life is for living and having fun each and every day!

Love and light, Fi xxx

#LifeWithCancer

ovarian cancer

Documentary Release – A Time To Live

Hello Lovelies!

I wanted you all to know that the documentary I filmed for last year is coming out NEXT WEEK!

BBC2 – ‘A Time to Live’

9pm Wednesday 17th May

This will be broadcast across the UK and also available on iPlayer for a period afterwards. Please check it out and tell your friends!

I’ve had a sneak preview and it is AMAZING! I hope you guys love it as much as I do!

You can enjoy a clip now.

Love and light, Fi xx

Keep up to date on Facebook.

ovarian cancer

HEALTH UPDATE

During my last checkup my oncologist explained that my cancer markers have risen. Last month they tripled and this month they went up a little bit more. They are now at the top of ‘healthy’. However, this may indicate that treatment did not get rid of all disease as we originally thought.She asked if I wanted a scan to see where the cancer was. However, this gave me the opportunity to have an honest chat and tell her that I don’t want to have chemo again.

This is for a number of personal reasons but one is because the toxicity would cause further damage to my kidneys and make my magnesium issue worse.

You may think this is minor, however, my Hypomagnesemia is actually very serious and, along with the debilitating side affects I have often posted here, worsening my situation could cause irritability of the nervous system with risk of tremors, seizures, cardiac arrest, coma, intellectual disability or death [to name a few].

After an open discussion, during which I was treated as an equal part in the decisions made, my oncologist explained that she supports my decision. She agreed that further chemo would make my Hypomagnesemia worse. This would be very detrimental to my health and possibly remove all quality of life which, I’m sure you know, is very important to me.

Also, at this stage my diagnosis is medically ‘incurable’ and further chemo would not make a significant difference to my life expectancy. We are talking an extra couple of months and, for me, that’s not worth the price of my quality of life.

So we have agreed that she will no longer monitor my cancer markers and that I won’t get scanned. There is no point.

However, the main thing is that just now I feel well and healthy aside from a stabbing pain in my right ribs which has been ongoing for a few months…and, annoyingly, worse today.

My positivity hasn’t wavered, my hope isn’t diminished and above all my joy still overflows! 

I will keep on LIVING and spreading kindness and positivity for as long as my heart keeps beating.

I encourage you to do the same.

Love and light xxx

Ps. This is what stage four cancer looks like #ButYouLookSoWell 💕💜😘

ovarian cancer

What if there was a stage five to cancer?…and it was positive…

I havn’t been blogging recently, instead I’ve been focusing on writing my book and so I’ve been saving my updates to just my Facebook page. However, whilst away in Europe just now I had an experience that I had to share with you all…Hubby and I had booked a last minute train journey from Scotland to London and then on to Paris. Instead of micro planning the trip like we would have previously, we just booked return tickets and our first two nights in Parirs. After that, we decided to leave our holiday to chance by arriving in Gare De Loyn (Paris’s international train station) and booking on to the next train….with no plans of where we would end up, no accommodation booked, a true adventure to say the least.

Anyway, I’m digressing, as usual. On our first day in Paris we stumbled upon one of those beautiful serinipidous moments that I hope you will enjoy hearing about. At the very least, I hope I do it justice in my writing because, for me, it was utterly magical.
We had spent the day wondering the city. I’d been telling hubby that Paula Cohelo (my favourite author) frequently mentions in his books that to ‘know’ a city is not to do all the tourist attractions but to ‘get lost and discover it for yourslef’. With this in mind we hadn’t joined the crazy long queues to climb the Eifle Tower, instead we had marvelled at it from the ground below before wondering through the streets, lanes and local parks. In fact we wondered so far that by the end of the day a background app on my phone recorded 5.5 miles – the furthest I’ve walked in one day since my diagnosis.

Walking through a park whilst searching for somewhere for dinner I was struck that everyone around us was busy taking ‘selfies’ and not enjoying the moment. Now, don’t get me wrong, those who know me know I’m guilty of more than a few selfies so no judgement from me, I was just struck that it was what everyone was doing. No one was actually talking to one another – so busy where they trying to capture the perfect moment that they were forgetting to actually live it. I recalled a conversation I’d had with one of the documentary makers last year. They’d explained that there had been a study done that you remember experiences differently if you look at them through your phone taking photos of videos. In short they were saying to live the moment rather than capture it to show an ‘airbrushed’ version of your life on social media.

Again I’m digressing, but it is relevant I promise…

As we were walking, surrounded by people on their phones, something caught my eye. Just past everyone else there stood a very smartly dressed man standing away from the crowd feeding the birds. As I watched I noticed a large animal near his feet. “Is that an otter?” I asked my hubby. “Where?” He declared, no doubt confused by my random question about a water mammal whilst in the middle of a busy city. However, I pointed and managed to convince him that we needed to explore further.

So, we made our way over to the man, who appeared embarrassed by our presence, giving the sense that we were intruding on a private event. What we witnessed was beautiful and I feel both blessed and humbled to have been a part of it.

The man had a large bag of bread from which he was feeding a range of birds, including two groups of newly hatched ducklings. However, he was also taking his time to carefully peel and slice pieces of carrot to hand feed a large water vole. By large I mean the size of an adult Tom cat. The interaction between them was awe inspiring. This man, in his no doubt designer suit was not just feeding these animals but he was doing so with love and care. These were his pets, his friends, his family. Each time he fed the water vole, just a rodent to many, he knelt down and whispered to it in French before it gently took the carrot from his hands. Standing close to the man, I also had the pleasure of this beautiful wild animal coming up to me.

​​
“Do you speak English?” I asked the man in French.

“A little,” he shyly replied.

“Do you come every day?”

The excitement was evident in his reply, “oh yes, every day, I live just there, ” he pointed nearby.

We continued to watch the interaction and I’m glad we did because the magic increased. The man bent down again and handed the water vole a large piece of bread. Taking it with the same care it had the carrot it wondered to the water edge where it placed the bread in the water. Confused we watched as a group of large fish came to the surface to eat the bread.

“Did it just intentionally feed the fish?” Hubby and I asked one another. ‘That can’t be.”

However, as we watched the man carefully cut another piece of carrot for the water vole which it again accepted with care and ate in front of the man. Next the man gave him another piece of bread and, amazingly, again it carried it to the water edge to feed the fish.

Isn’t that incredible?

With love, care and daily patience this man had created a bond so strong with this wild animal that they were now working together to feed other animals. In harmony their kindness was creating ripples.

Two things struck me in that moment: The first, of course was the beautiful connection that can come between the love of a human and an animal. It’s something I’ve experienced many times myself with pets and wild animals alike and it is always a privilege and a joy. The love this man was expressing was a pleasure to witness and the joy it gave him was evident – I am sure he would have many stories to share over a coffee.

The second realisation was that not one other person in the park that day had noticed this interaction. Too busy taking selfies alongside tourist attractions like thousands of people before them, they hadn’t experienced the magic and wonder in that very place that you wouldn’t find in any tourist guides. I finally understood what Paulo had meant in his books. 

I said at the start of this blog post that I hoped I could do this encounter justice and I doubt that I have. In reality I think this moment had a profound meaning on my life so deep that I wouldn’t be able to express it through the simple action of documenting words. You see it relates to a conversation I had recently with someone I care about. They had explained to me that they had stopped following my public Facebook page because it was too focused on cancer. “That’s just not you.” They’d declared.

It had left me thinking….what was me?

Yes in March my Facebook page had, admittedly, taken a huge focus on cancer in recognition of ‘Ovarian Cnacer Awareness Month’. However, it was also the month that my health had suffered most since the end of treatment with my magnesium levels dropping radidly again. Coincidence? I think not. I am a strong believing in attracting what you think about. I mean I am the girl who I for no genetic reason had convinced herself that she’d be diagnosis with ovarian cancer at the age of 30 and lo and behold look what happened…

Their simple words had touched me deeply and I realised they were right, I am not about cancer. Whilst I like to raise awareness I do not ‘suffer’ from my diagnosis. I am not a ‘victim’ and don’t even get me started on ‘fighting cancer’ – I loath that term!

“So, what am I about?” I was left wondering.

This encounter gave me my answer, It reminded me exactly what makes my heart sing.

I am about love. I am about light. I am about healing. I am about joy. I am about LIVING – truly, madly, deeply!

What if cancer has a stage five after stage four? What if Stage Five is finding out what you are about. What if Stage Five is about LIVING?

My wish for you…enjoy the moment. Get lost and discover the hidden joys in your life – trust me they are everywhere when you start to look! Above all, if you have a late stage cancer diagnosis, may you embrace stage five and start to LIVE with the same love and care as the man I met in Paris.

Love and light always, Fi xx 

ovarian cancer

living with fatigue

I’ve tried and failed to explain life with fatigue but this week someone explained it to me perfectely and I had to share it.

They just ‘got it’.

First let’s get one thing out of the way…fatigue and tiredness are not the same thing. Not even close. You don’t know what fatigue is like until you’ve experienced it. I don’t care how many kids you have, how many late nights you’ve had, how hungover you are, what your work pattern is (insert anything else here) you just don’t! Yeah I thought I knew what it was before too…turns out I was wrong…

Ok so now my little rant is over let me share the explanation…

Fatigue is like waking up each day with 4 cups of energy whilst everyone else has 20. You can choose how you spend each cup. You might choose to use two on seeing a friend, one on yoga and one on cooking dinner. The rest of the time would be spent lying down. So each day is about making a decision on where to spend your cups. Also keep in mind that obviously sometimes you have to spend cups on doing housework, paperwork, food shopping and other necessities…

BUT you can’t spend 5 cups one day and expect it to be ok because you’ll just have 3 the next day. That is how tiredness works. That is NOT how fatigue works. With fatigue if you spend 5 cups instead of 4 then it will cost you ALL of the cups for the next COUPLE of days. In my case this means sickness, sleeping, an inability to think and function clearly…

So if I don’t answer the phone, change our plans last minute, have to rest, can’t spend as much time with you etc etc then it’s just part of my life with a long term medical condition and that has to be ok.

Personally I choose to spend my cups on yoga and writing because I am extremely passionate about them and I want to make a difference for others. The days I don’t do either of these I feel lost and alone. They make my heart sing! If cancer has taught me anything it’s to do what matters to you with the time you have.

I carefully plan when I use cups on social activities. Don’t get me wrong,  I would LOVE to have the same ability to socialise like I did before but it just isn’t the case. I think people think I do lots of social activities each week but in reality I actually restrict my time to seeing two friends each week because I’ve learnt that anything else leads to cancellations which I know hurts people’s feelings. Especially if they haven’t seen me for a while.

In amongst all of this I also need to find the energy to spend time with my husband -sleeping with my head on his shoulder while he watches TV doesn’t count! – and with my incredible family.

When you start to add all these things together you soon see that the cups of energy don’t spread far. Especially when, in the analogy, a ‘normal’ person has about 20 cups each day and can ‘borrow’ from other days.

Fatigue is a really disabling condition and it’s also emotionally challenging because sometimes people, as hard as you might try to explain, just don’t get it.

So, if you are going through your own journey with fatigue, know that you are not alone. I get it and maybe one day others will too.

Love and light, Fi xxx

ovarian cancer

don’t disable me further

I know many fellow warriors (and, in fact many others) have to go through the process of PIP i.e. applying for disability ‘benefits’ and I wanted to share my experience with you all. As a researcher and service designer I find the process embarrassing to say the least. Not embarrassing for me – no in fact it has been soul destroying for me – but embarrassing for Scotland and the U.K. that we find this process acceptable.

Let me explain.

First of all I have issues with the words ‘benefits’. Having a weekly payment that is barely enough to cover a week worth of shopping because you are no longer able to be the primary wage earner in your house, pay your mortgage or other bills etc is not a ‘benefit’.

Secondly, the process takes months! I applied in December after not having the strength to do so for the 11 months previous because the form is over 20 pages long! I was told that a decision will be made a minimum of 16 weeks after my application. In the meantime I have to hope that we can cover our bills on one wage. What about single people? Worse still, what about single parents who are unable to work due to cancer or other conditions? They could become homeless in that time.

So what does the application process involve? First it involves filling in the giant form I’ve mentioned. This asked you to go into graphic personal detail about how your conditions affects you. You know, listing all the painful consequences that you’d rather not talk about with anyone. Like the fact you can’t do your job anymore because the drive alone leaves you so exhaust you spend the next few days on the sofa. I recall recently I drove to my work for my farewell meeting. The drive there and back was just over three hours and I was there for only two hours. The result however was two days in bed. Cronic fatigue is a massively debilitating long term side affect of chemotherapy and massive operations.

Or how about the fact that sometimes your Stoma bag becomes detached and you have to bin your clothes – a factor that now mean I always carry spare clothes with me.

I could go on…

Now I’m an extremely strong person but some of the questions asked in the form had me in tears. I understand they have to know these things but the have already received a formal, detailed description from my oncologist!

After the form had been with them for 6 weeks I received a letter to say they were sending someone to my home to assess my condition. Not an oncologist or surgeon or GP or Macmilan nurse who understands my diagnosis…no…just someone to assess me in my own home. Someone without any experience of me.

For weeks I’ve burst into tears every time I think about it. The thought of one person coming into my home and judging me on face value and then making a decision about my ability to work that potentially overides the decision of my medical team and employer! It’s frightening.

The appointment for this assessment is far from handeled in the government suggest ‘person centred manner’. It states that you must be available for the given time…

“If you are not available without good reason when the health professional visits, the decision maker at the Department for Work and Pensions is likely to disallow your claim.”

What is good reason? Is the fact that the time they’ve allocated the time I’m usually napping a good reason? Probably not. Is the fact that it’s over lunch time on Valentine’s and that I’d like to spend it with my husband because such days have extra meaning when you are living with a life threatening illness? Also probably not. So what do I do? I behave like I’m told and I wait for the two hour slot there given me, not knowing the name of the person visiting or whether they are male or female or what their training and qualifications are. In fact, whilst they know every personal detail about me and have right of access to my home at their discretion…I know not one fact about them. This is not person centred care. This is dictatorship.

I know people who read my blog may be thinking ‘you’re so active how can you be classed as disabled’ and so I think it’s important to highlight some things for those who don’t know me or who haven’t personally experienced cancer…

Some days are great. I manage some yoga and do some reading and maybe even see a friend for lunch before spending an evening cozied on the sofa with my hubby. The next day I’m shattered though. In contrast, however, some days are awful. I get up in pain, I don’t manage to eat, I’m chained to the bathroom floor for hours unable to move due to constant sickness. When I finally venture out I make it to the sofa where I spend the next few days. Or there are other days where it starts out great and I go out ready to enjoy a day and then I am suddenly rushing to a public bathroom where I embarrassingly spend hours, desperately wishing I was home. 

My life before was completely different. I traveled four hours a day to commute to my job. I worked full time as a researcher. I spend every evening either socialising or volunteering and in my ‘spare time’ I trained to be a hypnotherapist. I may not be disabled by sociable standards but I am disabled compared to me before. I hope the process will acknowledge this.

As I write this I am overwhelmed with fear. My life is being judged by someone who does not know me and who I do not know. They have so much power over how my life moves on from this moment. I can’t help but think that the process is disabling in itself.

I can only hope that the person who visits me today will recognise this.*

Love and light, Fi xx

*edit. The person who visited was compassionate and caring. Within minutes my fear vanished and I felt listened to. I have to still wait 6 weeks for a decision but in the meantime I am reassured that she cared. Whilst the process may be debilitating and lack a person-centred approach the human connection was real and supportive. Work needs to be done, however, to improve the ‘paperwork’. 

For now I just have to wait and see if the ‘system’ recognises and values the impact invisible disabilities have on people’s lives xxx

ovarian cancer

The Importance of Going the Extra Mile

Today I had an absolutely incredible experience I want to share with you all!

A dear friend invited me out for afternoon tea at Malmaison Dundee – this was a potential nightmare for me!…due to range of allergies and stage four cancer I follow a strict no dairy, no gluten and no sugar diet and, historically, that basically eliminates everything in an afternoon tea.

I nervously called the hotel and explained my allergies weeks in advance. ‘Not a problem at all’ they explained. Still, I was nervous. I so didn’t want to be ill and, selfishly, I also didn’t want to be faced with a dull salad I could make at home while my friend was spoiled.

Well the pastry chef went above and beyond! She carefully prepared a beautiful selection of food for me. Each item met my dietary needs and she even carefully didn’t use any artificial sweeteners either! She went one step further and came to introduce herself and explain genuinely that she had enjoyed the challenge of creating something new!

This was without doubt the best eating experience I have had since diagnosis! For the first time in months I felt I was eating like a ‘normal’ person and it was incredible! The simple act of this wonderful woman taking pride in her work gave me an amazing experience.

In fact, all of the staff were exceptional and I feel truly blessed!

This post is a HUGE thank you to Sara the pastry chef at Malmaison in Dundee and the rest of the team…especially our waitress too (she was awesome as well)! The world needs more people like you who take a pride in their work. Thank you for being awesome!

Unsurprisingly I gave Sara one of my random Act of Kindness envelopes too!

Perhaps we can all learn from people like Sara. We can…

  • Enjoy our work
  • Take a challenge as an opportunity to learn
  • Help others
  • Smile
  • Be kind
  • Go the extra mile

I feel truely blessed to have had such a lovely experience.

Thank you to everyone involved!

Love and light, Fi xxx

ovarian cancer

A Day in the Life of – 1 week post surgery

Whilst recovering in hospital from my operation I kept myself busy by keeping a note of what was happening each day. This enabled me to record my progress and for my confidence to grow in my ability and recovery.

Whilst I did this for my own benefit, I’ve decided to share a record of what I was managing just one week after my operation in case it may offer help/comfort for someone awaiting a similarly major operation.

Questions more than welcome.

Love and light, Fi xxx


15th May 2016

2.30am

  • 1 water
  • Pain relief (breakthrough)
  • Anti-clotting jag dressing on leg leaking & replaced – blood over sheets (1).
  • Sheets changed.
  • Threw up

6.50am

  • 1 water
  • Pain relief (breakthrough)
  • Anti-sickness tablet (breakthrough)
  • Medicated mouth wash
  • Anti-clotting jag dressing on leg leaking & replaced – blood over sheets (2).
  • Sheets changed again.

    7.30am

    • Half an ice lolly
    • Anti-sickness tablet (breakthrough)
    • Told IV cannula needs replaced.

    8.00am

    • 1 water
    • 2 morphine tablets

      9.20am

      • Re-placement for IV cannula

      9.30am

      • 1 water
      • 1 GF Biscuit
      • Liquid paracetamol
      • Omeprazol
      • Ibuprofen
      • Antibiotic tablets
      • Anti Sickness
      • Nystan – throat dropper

      9.45am

      • Husband visit
      • Consultant visit to discuss eating
      • Re-placement for IV cannula removed

      10.00am

      • GF cereal with almond milk
      • 1 water

      10.30am

      • 1 mint tea

      11.15am

      • Dressing over staples removed
      • Shower unaided
      • Brushed teeth unaided
      • 1 water

      12.20pm

      • Chicken salad (ate one third)
      • 1 ‘bio green’ water
      • Nystan – throat dropper

      12.45pm

      • Re-placement for IV cannula fitted
      • 1 water

      1.00pm

      • Family visit
      • 2 water
      • Cookie
      • Handful Pom bear crisps
      • Tablet paracetamol
      • Antibiotic tablets
      • Ibuprofen
      • Anti-clotting dressing on leg leaking & replaced (3).

      3.20pm

      • Medicated mouthwash
      • Antibiotic through IV

      4.05pm

      • Fluids with potassium through IV
      • Sheets changed.

      4.40pm

      • Anti-sickness tablet (breakthrough)

      6.00pm

      • Second family visit
      • Roast chicken and veg (very little managed)
      • 1 water
      • Liquid Paracetamol
      • Nystan – throat dropper

      8.00pm

      • 1 water
      • Half an ice lolly
      • Medicated mouth wash
      • 2 morphine tablets
      • Potassium fluids finish (told I need 2 more IV bags tomorrow)
      • Anti-clotting jag dressing on leg leaking & replaced (4). Told I’m not getting this evening’s jag. Bloods to be checked tomorrow.

      9.15pm

      • Napping

      10.30pm

      • Cookie
      • 2 water
      • Liquid paracetamol
      • Omeprazol
      • Ibuprofen
      • Antibiotic
      • Anti Sickness
      • Nystan – throat dropper
      • Auxiliary nurse sat with me for hour chatting about weddings and babies while I took medication. No nausea on anxiety.

      11.30pm

      • Bed
      ovarian cancer

      My Sixth Chemotherpy Session

      I’ve already written about my emotions regarding receiving my sixth and final chemotherapy and, in particular, that I didn’t know whether to feel elated or terrified. So, this post serves more as a record of the ‘process’ and side affects, rather than my emotional response.

      —-

      As promised I documented my last chemotherapy in the traditional style taken by many cancer warriors before me, and I’m sure many after me, I wrote a banner proclaiming my milestone and posed for many happy pictures. Of course I included my own flare with some bubbles and a fake unicorn tattoo because you are never too old for a bit of childish fun!


      Receiving my final dose was of course much the same as with previous doses and following my 8 hours in hospital I returned home armed with a bag of my usual pharmaceutical drugs ready to aid any side affect chemotherapy was going to throw at me.

      I had been told during my chemotherapy infusion that my magnesium levels were still very low (0.51 to be exact) and that I’d have to return the next day for a magnesium drip to try to get my levels up. I wasn’t best please about this as, in honesty, I like to hide in a corner after chemo but I understood that it was a necessity if I was to have any hope of my legs not aching from low magnesium.

      That night my side affects were minimal. Yes I was tired and aching but I’d experienced worse with previous chemos and I went to bed content in the hope that this one would be easy. Or so I thought.

      When I woke the next day I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Every bone ached to its core. The kind of dull pain associated with tooth ache was coursing through my body. I accepted that it was part of the process and ran myself a hot hymalayan salt bath to soak in, confident that it would help.

      The pain, sadly, wasn’t the worst of it. Before long I was lying on the bathroom floor, my stomach so upset I was unable to move from the bath mat for over an hour. I’ll spare you the details – if you’ve had chemotherapy you’ll know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t just rest assured that some things are best left unsaid.

      My husband called the hospital to let them know we would be late. My magnesium infusion was scheduled for 10am and by 11am I was sleeping curled up on the bath mat with a towel over me.

      Finally finding the strength to actually take some of the lovely drugs designed to combat my situation, I recovered enough to make the journey to the hospital with my husband. I was in joggy bottoms and a hoody, no makeup, no head scarf, nothing. I was there and that was all that mattered…I took confidence in the fact that I’m sure the nurses have seen people looking worse!


      I slept through most of my magnesium infusion, exhausted from my morning.

      Returning home that night I was still exhausted and dozed on the couch with my fur babies. Happily, I was able to eat which was a highlight I’d missed on most of my previous chemotherapy sessions.

      However, in the following days I experienced more fatigue, exhaustion and breathlessness that with previous sessions. I’m told that chemotherapy is aqumulative and that with each session the fatigue gets worse. I’m asking told that Paclitaxel (one of the chemotherapy drugs I’m on) is one of the harshest forms of chemotherapy…although who knows? One of my chemo nurses told me that ‘ordinarily’ recovery from this would be about 6 months but that with the addition of my surgery it could be up to 12 months. Great! 12 month of feeling exhausted just doing simple tasks. It’s amazing how tiring doing something as simple as brushing your teeth can actually become.

      As I write this I can happily report that I have regained some strength and that I’m starting to feel less tired. It’s only been just over a week since my chemotherapy and I’ve managed a walk with my rescue dog and a couple of outings on my own which I think is happy progress!..its just hard to remind myself that I do recover from chemo whilst actually experiencing the side affects. This is probably what lead to my recent feelings of vulnerability. Thankfully these too have passed and, once again, I am feeling my usually happy and positive self.

      Although I’ve received my last chemotherapy infusion, my treatment has by no means finished. I still have months of hospital treatments for which I am very grateful as I know many women are not given the same opportunity – more on this later.

      Until then, love and light, Fi xxx