Met a friend who I haven’t seen for over 20 years. I’m not old enough!

Well it has been a few days since I have written my journal/blog. It’s been fun filled and entertaining as usual.

Friday was Rays’ (the fella we care for) 90th birthday! I have to admit I am surprised he has made it this far since he has been in hospital so much over the past few years but boy, he is alive and kicking and looking forward to life. I’ll give Ray his due he doesn’t stop thinking about the future and what more he can get out of life. I do think though he is a bit old and sometimes crazy in his thoughts. Such as thinking he can simply go out and start driving again and go off on trips when he can’t walk and doesn’t have a driving license but at least he has gumption. I like that word. He doesn’t stop dreaming and maybe that is why he is still here today. I personally would want to be more involved with other people to have friends. Ray doesn’t have any one but us but at least he has us right?

We bought him a cake (without 90 candles that would have been silly really!) then took him out for lunch. We actually had a lovely afternoon and bless him he was really pleased.

Then on into the weekend. Saturday was a special day for me. It had been in my diary for some months and although I was excited I didn’t have any expectations of what the weekend would be like.  Pete and I drove to Brighton to meet a friend I haven’t seen for more than 20 years! I know I simply am not old enough to have friends that long ago but sadly at nearly 38 years old I do! My friend Clare (another one- Clare’s were popular in my year!) and I used to go to school together. In fact in the last year leading to our gcses her parents moved to Wiltshire from Weymouth. So that Clare wouldn’t have to re sit her whole last year in a new school my parents said she could live with us. For six months Clare and I shared a bedroom. We had to laugh. My parents had a huge house which was a bed and breakfast yet Clare and I had the smallest room in the house. Clare’s bed pulled out from under my bed and I used to have to step over her to get up. We had a great time and it was bizarre what clare could remember from that era. My memory is terrible for certain things. Clare could remember dinners we would eat. My mum made things simple for us by always having the same dinners on certain days each week. Monday fry up night, Thursday was pasty, jacket potato and beans night ( except for Clare she hates baked beans and had spaghetti!) then Fridays was fish and chip night, Saturdays chilli con carne and Sunday of course a roast. Apparently Clare remembers Wednesday we would try something different each week. I can’t remember what Tuesdays were! I found that the fact that Clare could remember this amazing! Oh how we laughed. She remembers how mum would tell us off for having two showers each day! Sometimes three! Well at least we were clean. We did of course get up to mischief and luckily for Clare only got in trouble with my –parents for being a tad naughty every now and then. But saying that we always got our homework done first then went out to ‘play’! Clare was academically amazing, had big brown eyes and long gorgeous hair and a great figure. Sickening! I turned up at her front door on Saturday and there she was with three beautiful children looking as gorgeous and fit as ever. Yuk! We squealed for a while with all the excitement and woke the baby! Oops! Five hours flew by and we had didn’t stop chatting. We have so much in common. I definitely won’t be leaving it so long and can see a new friendship with her and her husband to come.

Saturday evening we met one of our friends from home who now lives in Brighton. We went to a vegetarian restaurant (much to Pete’s disgust initially!) which was amazing! Terra a Terre is a must for anyone.  We all loved our food and Pete had a veggie version of fish and chips with haloumi. He thought it tasted better than real fish and chips! We then went and partied to old 90’s tunes. Such a great night. We spent our night at the grand hotel overlooking the sea. First thing the next morning I opened the curtains and the door to see bright sunshine and listen to the seagulls going about their way. After a hearty breakfast we walked and sat in the cold spring sunshine watching everyone making the most of the weather. I simply cannot remember such a chilled out and happy weekend.

On our drive home I felt amazed at how I feel so lucky to have such great friends. I have known so many people over the years but never made the effort to keep in touch. Thinking I didn’t need them and not realising how important they are to me.

I have in the last year rekindled many friendships all of which were in my life 37 years, 23 years, 15 years, and 9 years ago. I know we will now keep in touch and spend lots of time together. I’ve never had this many friends at once. Happy girl.

To top the weekend, Pete has been extra specially lovely. If that’s at all possible? We had so much love and cuddles and he is generous and kind with my friends. He is so easy to with everyone and what’s funny is everyone thinks they kind of know him already from having read my blog. My big wonderful Bear.

So the excitement doesn’t stop there. This weekend coming is a bank holiday. As a surprise Pete has said we are going away and to pack for somewhere cosmopolitan. In a conversation though he accidentally told me we are going to Rome! Bless him. He was gutted he let it out. But I don’t mind! So exciting. It is on my mood board of destinations I’d like to travel to and I have always wanted to go there!! Whoop!

 It’s funny being so busy at the weekend in a relaxed kind of way I felt less tired than I had all week. And today I woke up with a song in my head and feeling very cheery. I don’t feel sluggish and I certainly don’t want to sleep.  I’m almost half way through this cycle of chemo and I don’t really have any side effects except dry hands. But nothing that cream won’t sort out.

All the years I have always wanted to make sure I look after myself, moisturise my body after showering, body brushing, exercising, eating well, reading and more. And now I do them all the time. Ok so it’s because I have been prescribed them or need them for well being but inadvertently I am being the person I always wanted to be but was too lazy to be. My hands and feet are being moisturised every day. It’s crazy that I needed to wait for this to be ‘good’.

 Research has been coming in thick and fast recently. It seems triple negative is really quite a focus for many researchers. This of course pleases me! Apparently copper depletion has been found to ensure triple negative doesn’t spread or reoccur.

Researchers studied 40 women with tumours that were likely to recur. When given a copper-depleting drug, known as TM, patients had a reduction in cells that promote tumour growth.

“For the vast majority of them, their tumor didn’t come back. Even in those that we would really 100-percent expect their tumours to come back,” Dr. Linda Vahdat, Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at Weill Cornell Medical College said.

Two patients with stage four triple-negative breast cancer are disease-free at four and five years.  Most triple-negative patients with advanced cancer die within ten months and 85 percent of patients with stage three or four breast cancers were disease-free at ten months.

Martha is one of them. Her cancer is still in remission and she’s hoping it will stay that way!

An evolving understanding of how tumour cells spread and set up shop in other organs led to the study of TM to prevent relapse in high-risk patients.

In order for a breast tumour to spread, it needs help. Tumour cells can migrate freely in the blood, but they need a specialized group of bone-marrow-derived cells called endothelial progenitor cells, or EPCs, to grow the blood vessels that feed a new tumour.

“If a breast cancer cell decides to go to the liver or lung or bone, these EPC cells help with establishment of those tumours,” said Baar.

Copper is a trace element we all need in small amounts for the formation of red blood cells and bone, as well as the absorption of iron. It’s also critical to mobilizing EPCs — when there isn’t enough copper available, the level of EPCs in the blood drops significantly.

TM is a copper chelation compound used to treat patients with Wilson’s disease, a rare genetic metabolism disorder that leads to excess copper in the blood. TM binds the excess copper and is then excreted as waste.

In the Cornell study, about 75 percent of the patients achieved the copper-depletion target using TM after one month of therapy, and in these patients there was a significant reduction in EPCs.

Whoa! This is amazing news. I think I need to know more about this copper depletion…..

Is it possible to have too much sleep?

 I’ve had another mammoth night’s sleep and as usual Pete gets up at the crack of dawn and goes to work making sure I’m all still tucked up in the dark and warm. It’s making it really hard to get up. Yesterday was just weird. I felt exhausted but for no reason. I still managed to get things done but it didn’t flow. I struggled again to get going this morning but managed to blitz exercise, yoga and meditation followed by heat and air. I’m not sure why I feel like I do at the moment. I love have loads of energy and feeling really excited about everything. Part of me wants to laze in the sun and the other nagging parts wants to get the cabin creosoted and the bench painted and the house repairs done. But I simply don’t seem to have the energy or even the need to get it done. I keep thinking that if I leave it today tomorrow I will feel better. I can’t actually decide if I am sleeping too much? Is that possible? I think it is….. But I remind myself that I need to exercise more as chronic tiredness can be overcome by acute tiredness.. Or is the other way round?! Well I know what I mean. Exercise will get rid of this terrbily sleeping feeling…. I need more!

I’m going to working this afternoon so that normally wakes me up, then I am going to be making yet more bracelets. Can you believe it? Donations have slowed right down naturally but I am up to £5623. I reckon we can get to £6000.

 Some more research coming through on Google alerts are from the Galapagos. It is a bit difficult it explain so here is the link to read more about it.

Going back to Dr Nesselhut on Tuesday he said he expects and hopes for me to live a natural life span but really hopes the disease will go completely. Me too! Those little comments stick in mind. But I feel more and more positive that I am going to be fine. I can honestly belive that I will completely be free of canSer. I think I am already getting a bit twitchy knowing the next ct scan is only in two weeks……

ONwards and upwards….I’ve decided I need to update my mood board. I want to add that I will learn to speak German. It has to be done with the amount of visits I have been and will be making to the Fatherland. Also Pete is fluent in German so it is only right that I make the effort. He translates everything for me at the moment and that just makes me lazy! I learnt French at school so I am finding it a tad tricky.

It seems one of the many destinations on my list of places to visit will be crossed off soon! Pete has planned to take me away for the weekend as a surprise but accidentally told me where it is…Rome! Whoop”! I’m very excited. Poor Pete was gutted that it slipped out but it doesn’t bother me knowing. I don’t know where we are staying so that is still a surprise. Molto eccitato! That’s very excited in Italian!

It’s already Friday tomorrow and the week as usual has flown by. We will be spending our afternoon with Ray. He is 90 years old tomorrow! I honestly cannot believe he has made it this far with all his illnesses and hospital stays but he is stronger than ever and bright as a button. I decided it would be cruel to get 90 candles for his cake so have bought s a 9 and a 0 candle. Bless him.

Then the weekend will be upon us when I am taking a trip to the seaside. Brighton to be exact. Never a dull moment for us! Can’t wait to see old friends. (Really old friends from when I was at school!)

We have broken the £5000 barrier!

Had great news yesterday that our donations have exceeded £5000 on my virgin giving page. That is from the sales of the wish bracelets I have made along with other donations given very generously by everyone! Today there has also been more payment made by my friends who are selling them for me also. The total now stands at £5548.00! This is being split between my chosen charities Breast Cancer Breakthrough and The Cancer Vaccine Institute. And it doesn’t stop there. A good friend of mine is doing a pamper evening soon and she is donating all proceeds from doing treatments as well as selling more bracelets for me! Of course we have the ladies night coming up in May also that my other friend is holding at her house which will include selling of clothes, treatments, bracelets as well a raffle. I am going to donate HD brows treatments and products as well as some other items, and friends are donating prizes such as tans, facials, haircuts and colours.. Then my Bear is going to donate a magnum of champagne!  Bless him. He is a bit gutted it is a ladies night as he thought he could come along too! We told him he could be a girl for the evening but he has gone all shy and decided he would go to the pub instead (spoken in a deep manly voice!) Love him.

I’m always thinking of the next thing we can do to raise money. I would like to hold a roller disco but yet to plan that one out. It’s only so I can get dressed in fancy dress and roller skate in time to funky music! Ha ha! I’ll never grow up. I’d also love to have a ball but that maybe something I do later as it could take a lot of money and resources. All good learning experiences though.

I’ve spent time with Ray (the elderly friend we take care of) today and cooked him his lunch and done a few chores round his house. It amazes me that he is almost 90 years old and is bright as a button.  Times have been hard for him recently but you would never know it. Then I was at the hospital having my bloods taken in time for my next round of chemo and picking up my drugs to start again on Wednesday. They know me now there and have it all ready when I walk through the door. A bonus I guess to going there so often!

I decided to have a lunch late in the garden and scoffed down avocado salad. It should be getting boring seeing as I have it every single day but it just isn’t! I’m a creature of habit. It must be helping me seeing as I am so well.

I’m looking forward to tonight as I’m going for dinner at a friend’s house. I can’t wait for a catch up and a cuddle baby George. Mmm babies I could eat them!

The weekend forecast looks good so I think some gardening is in order tomorrow then we are off to Heathrow again for my next round of immunotherapy. Duderstadt here we come! Back late Tuesday night……

Amazonian women only had one breast and they were great archers!

The last couple of days have flown by. I have been busy as ever with my usual rituals and working. Yesterday I had an unexpected visitor during the day. Pete’s daughter came to our house home sick from work. Bless her. She has been having a real issue trying to get through to the doctors to say that she is ill. It really is a simple fact that if you do not shout loud enough you will get fobbed off. I did what I could for her and tried to impart some of my knowledge on complementary ways of looking after herself in the mean time, as the doctors flatly refused to come and see her. I understand it from the doctor’s point of view but when you are in pain it’s really hard not to think that there is something seriously wrong with you. And that’s another issue. The strength of the mind. If you focus hard enough on pain it just gets worse. I calmed Hannah down by deep breathing with her and making her peppermint tea. Within an hour colour had come back into her cheeks and by the time tea time came she was almost back to normal- for now.

It has been a few days since the Boston bombings. I have been thinking a lot about it and my thoughts and prayers have been all for those involved and their families. Tragic times and it’s at those times when I really don’t understand the world and the universe and what it’s all about? I don’t understand how an 8 year old can be killed and it’s just meant to be? I don’t know where to go with those sorts of thoughts…. All I can do is give positive thoughts and love.

My cold is practically gone and I simply cannot believe how quickly I have recovered. I really do think my breakfast juice has a lot to answer for. That and the immunotherapy, the acupuncture, the reishi spores.. blimey the list goes on.I have been having ginger in my juice this week and have been eating only vegan foods. I have made the effort to try and cook from my cookery books that I have mentioned before. Last night I cooked aubergine and tomato gratin. Tasty! Even Pete liked it.Tonight I am going to create something with butternut squash… ooo…exciting…

I met a lovely lady yesterday whilst working who told me she goes to ‘roller derby’. It got me thinking. I love roller skating and maybe roller derby is the thing I should go and try next. Something out of my comfort zone but gives great fitness. I am not sure about being bashed and thrown all over the place but I do own my skates and I would love to give a try. Should I or shouldn’t I?

Another thing I may try is archery. My Bear is a font of all knowledge and was telling me that Amazonian women used to remove one of their breasts as it would get in the way when they used their bow and arrows. He said they were sexy strong women yet they only had one breast like I do. Bless him. He knows how to make me feel good about myself. So that got us thinking. Maybe I should give it a go. Talk about a different twist on things and making a positive out of a negative. You never know the next female Olympic champion could be a woman who had a mastectomy! That would be amazing! I’m going to look into going to my local club in Oxford and giving it a go. I know I need arm strength- Well, that’s good as I did strong balanced yoga this morning and boy, my arms are aching although I do see some definition in them now.

Today I had an email from a lady in Australia who has found my facebook page who is also a triple negative breast canSer survivor. I am always so touched when I hear from other survivors. She seemed very anxious and alone. I tried to give her tools to help herself and also an outlook that may just enhance her life for the better. She too feels fear. She currently doesn’t have canSer but feels she it may have spread to other parts of her body. I hope it hasn’t for her sake but there is more to life than worrying. I know this now from having many months’, even years, worrying myself sick. You get what you wish for and by worrying about canSer or anything else, usually makes that thing happen. I advised to try and abandon sadness and to love herself. Today is the important day and although making plans for the future is positive in every way, today is what you have now. I look forward to keeping in touch with her. She looks like a beautiful woman. If I ever go to Australia I would like to meet her!

 In the last week there have been some really interesting pieces of research that keep popping up. Another piece of exciting news is by a company called Celldex therapeutics whose shares went through the roof when they launched a brain cancer vaccine called rindopepimut (CDX-011). However, late last year, Celldex generated a great deal of excitement after the final results from the company’s Phase 2b metastatic breast cancer study of CDX-011 were released. The results were so good that the company plans to initiate a randomized trial suitable for accelerated approval in patients with triple negative breast cancer in the second half of 2013. Wait what? This is incredible! We will keep our ears to the ground to hear more about this.

 Today a really old friend dropped by. I haven’t seen her for about ten years and she hasn’t changed a bit! I am amazed as to how many old friends are popping back into my life and it’s as if they never left. I feel enriched with friendship and am totally touched they are all getting back in touch, usually by accident.  I have more friends now than I ever have and I love it!

My Bear has just arrived home so I must go and start cooking!

Ciao. X

Haemoglobin levels look so good you wouldn’t know I am on chemo!….

I had an early appointment at the hospital today. It’s a week earlier than normal as we of to Germany next week. I was told that I would be seeing Dr Minawi and as I sat in her treatment room waiting for her I was then told to move to Prof Harris’ room. It seems he wanted to see me?! Any who in he trots as jovial as ever and said that I looked really well. I told him I had a cold. He didn’t seem at all concerned and said that the chemo wouldn’t affect me whilst having a cold. I told him I wasn’t concerned. I didn’t mean for it to sound quite so blunt but I meant it. I am not concerned.

He said that he has been looking sat my blood tests and they look great. He said that my haemoglobin levels look fine and that you wouldn’t even know I am on chemo! Wow! I am well chuffed with that. That’s’ so encouraging. Right now I feel just snotty and rough round the edges but I am sure by the weekend I should be feeling better.

I am back at the hospital Thursday or Friday to have another blood test and to pick up my next course of chemo. That will be round seven. Prof Harris knows my scan is all booked and it seems I have a month till I get the results.

Some really exciting news… Pete came across some more research yesterday that sounds just unreal! Here is an excerpt of the article;

….’fortunately, better drug therapies may be on the horizon. UCLA researchers and collaborators led by Dean Ho, a professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry and co-director of the school’s Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, have developed a potentially more effective treatment for TNBC that uses nanoscale, diamond-like particles called nanodiamonds.

Nanodiamonds are between 4 and 6 nanometers in diameter and are shaped like tiny soccer balls. Byproducts of conventional mining and refining operations, the particles can form clusters following drug binding and have the ability to precisely deliver cancer drugs to tumours, significantly improving the drugs’ desired effect. In the UCLA study, the nanodiamond delivery system has been able to home in on tumour masses in mice with triple negative breast cancer.

Findings from the study are published online April 15 in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Materials.

“This study demonstrates the versatility of the nanodiamond as a targeted drug-delivery agent to a tumour site,” said Ho, who is also a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre and the UCLA Department of Bioengineering. “The agent we’ve developed reduces the toxic side effects that are associated with treatment and mediates significant reductions in tumour size.”

The team combined several important cancer-fighting components on the nanodiamond surface, including Epirubicin, a highly toxic but widely used chemotherapy drug that is often administered in combination with other cancer drugs. The new compound was then bound to a cell-membrane material coated with antibodies that were targeted toward the epidermal growth factor receptor, which is highly concentrated on the surfaces of TNBC cells. The resulting agent is a drug-delivery system called a nanodiamond-lipid hybrid compound, or NDLP.

When tested on mice, the agent was shown to notably decrease tumor growth and eliminate the devastating side effects of cancer treatment.

Because of its toxicity, Epirubicin, when administered alone can cause serious side effects, such as heart failure and reduced white blood cell count, and it has been linked to an increased risk for leukaemia. In the study, all of the mice that were given Epirubicin alone died well before the completion of the study. But all the mice given Epirubicin through the targeted NDLPs survived the treatment, and some of the tumours even regressed until they were no longer visible.

“Triple-negative breast cancer is often very aggressive and hard to treat, making aggressive chemotherapy a requirement,” said Dr. Edward K. Chow, co-first author of the study and an assistant professor at the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore. “The targeting and therapeutic efficiency of the nanodiamond-lipid agents were quite remarkable. The simultaneous tumor regression and improved drug tolerance are promising indicators for the continued development of the nanodiamonds toward clinical translation.”

The research team is now studying the efficacy and safety of the NDLPs in larger animals. Additional research objectives include determining whether nanodiamonds can enhance the tolerance of a wide spectrum of highly toxic drug compounds, which may improve current treatment options and outcomes. These discoveries will serve as precursors for human trials, the researchers said.

“The nanodiamond-lipid hybrid developed in this study is a modular platform,” said Laura Moore, a graduate student in Ho’s laboratory and a co-first author of the study. “Therefore, we can easily bind a wide spectrum of targeting antibodies and drug compounds to address several diseases.”

Dr. No-Hee Park, dean of the UCLA School of Dentistry, noted that the research will provide a foundation for future clinical applications.

“This pioneering study conducted by Dean Ho and his team provides a better understanding of the capabilities of the nanodiamond material to address several diseases,” Park said. “Their work is of paramount importance.”

There is more exciting news featured on my forum about another potential cure for triple negative breast canSer. Take a look:

This news is amazing. It is abundantly clear that there isn’t going to one thing that cures canSer. It will never be cured with on drug alone. It seems everything should be complementary and will work in synergy together. But how encouraging is this news?

Back home from the hospital and I am working today again… Big smiles and lots of feel good feelings! Although, in order not to spread my germs I will be wearing a mask over my nose and mouth!

I must be doing something right?!

Mondays… don’t you just love them? I do. It’s the day that you get everything all back to normal from the weekend and get ready for the week ahead. The house is cleaned from top to bottom, the washing done and bits and bobs all organised. It’s very cathartic and de-cluttering for the mind.

I have done all of the above today and I must admit I feel a bit pooped. I have a stinker of a cold now too. Friday I had a sore throat and thought that I wouldn’t let it get me but by yesterday the nose started to run and I was sneezing like a goodun’! I did the usual panic moment and had to ask Pete if everything would be ok. I always dread getting any illness whilst having canSer as I can’t help but suspect it could be more sinister. Pete said he thinks it could be a good thing. Gettting the immunity to have a response could be the thing that helps rid me of canSer.  I have to admit in my gut I think it isn’t anything to worry about. I don’t feel that ill. It’s simply a head cold. Picture me with a streaming nose and eyes! It’s not going to stop me from working tomorrow or going to my hospital appointment either. In fact I feel well enough that I did some light exercise this morning and yoga too. I believe that when exercising the body releases good hormones and I think that can only help my body recover from this cold quicker.

The cold has probably been brewing for a while but thankfully I didn’t really feel it too much over the weekend as we had our new friends visit. We met them whilst skiing in Austria in February and this is the first time since we got back that we have seen them. We had such a laugh and felt very relaxed with them. Some people are no effort at all and being around them is so very relaxing. That’s how it was this weekend. We had so many laughs (being complete goons!) I am sure our neighbours must love us ringing a fire bell at midnight! I know, I know why have we got a fire bell? It’s a long story but let’s just say our house is full of fun and surprises! I am sure the late night on Friday didn’t help my cold but life is for living. I am kind to myself as much as possible but sometimes I simply cannot miss out on all the fun!

I have been chatting today with a friend about canSer and how it affects the individual. We both agreed and believe that canSer is about ‘letting go’. Of course there are the physical elements and factors to be taken into consideration but letting go of the old stuff, the old you, the old habits, is the only way to evolve and the biggest part of healing is on the inside and in the mind. It’s funny because I have been thinking this a lot recently. I feel like a different person that I was 9 months ago. I can honestly say life is great. I know there are things we would all rather not have to endure and to put up with and always think things could be better, but actually my life is just peachy. Yesterday afternoon when our friends had gone and Pete and I were having our afternoon TV snuffle, I couldn’t help but tell him how very happy and grateful I am to have such a wonderful man in my life. I said that when we are old and grey we would still be tucked into the corner of the sofa holding hands and snuffling closely. Pete interjected and said that he is already old and grey! Ha ha! But I corrected him by saying old is when he is 95 years old. I honestly believe that we could both live to that ripe old age and if we get that opportunity to be together for that many years then boy, life has been wonderful. I hope that the Universe lets that happen and we live healthily for many many decades yet.

Just think by the time I am 95 years old there will definitely be a cure for every canSer going. It’s inevitable. Its right under our noses I think. Drugs and treatments aside I believe the cure is right under our noses anyway. Unlocking the mess we hold inside is the first step to our future health…

Tomorrow I am at the hospital for my next clinic appointment. I received a letter last week for my next ct scan which was booked for Monday 22nd April, but as I am going to be having treatment in Germany I have now postponed it until the 8th May. I am sure Prof Harris won’t be too pleased as he has wanted the scan done of the past five weeks but the radiology department must be busy. I don’t mind waiting. It gives me almost a month of hard work, focussed visualising and really being good with my diet. Pete and I have both decided that being vegan for a while is good way of cleansing ourselves and almost like a bit of a detox. By the time I have the scan it will be about 12 weeks since my last one.

The last few months have been really great. We haven’t been away on any little trips other than Germany and instead we have been spending lots of time with friends. I never realised how important they are in my life until now. The rest of April is the same and I am really looking forward to catching up with friends old and new. I feel blessed that they like spending time with me and my Bear.  One of the most important things for canSer patients is support and to live a normal life. I think I have the balance down to a tee. I simply do not let canSer rule me anymore.

Thankfully, as with the last 6 cycles of chemo, this cycle has been pretty much the same. I have felt great and I haven’t had any side effects. Phew…. I must be doing something right!

There are more Bears out there…

I don’t know what is wrong with me but I only slept for 3 hours last night. I am at this moment a bit jaded. Although, first thing this morning I was wide awake and raring to go… Don’t ya just hate it when that happens? I don’t think I am preoccupied but I must have thought about absolutely everything last night…. such a shame. I feel cheated. The night before however was a completely different story. I had to go to bed at 8pm. I was falling asleep trying to watch a TV show. I just didn’t feel right. Every day is so different. I think I am very sensitive to what my body needs and when I need to sleep I just have to listen to it and go for it. I had such a good day though with my clients. A whole afternoon of working and I loved every minute of it. I really do look forward to my next day of working.

I definitely feel that I am eating too much at the moment too. I’m not sure if I am doing it out of boredom or what? But I don’t like it. I like eating only when I am hungry and I don’t want to let my head take over and get the better of me. It’s my head that got me into this whole mess in the first place!

Yesterday was a good day, after seeing Ray for a visit I had my reflexology session. It was amazing as usual… I simply can’t get enough of it. She really feels things are working well and that my lungs are good. That’s what I like to hear. Needless to say still no appointment for the CT scan but that’s ok as I am in no hurry to have one!

It dawned on me today that all I ever wanted was control and the more I tried to control things and my life the less I had. In fact all I had was anxiety and would rush around like a looney. Now I am trying to control everything in my life less and I think I have more of a handle on it… weird how things go…… A good example is my kitty. I tried to make her a lap cat for so long and would grab her for cuddles and she hated it, and me! Now every morning she leaps on top of me in bed and sits facing me with a big smile on her face. All the years I have had her and all I wanted was to have a lap cat. I stopped trying and there I go getting what I want. There’s a lesson in there.

You know it has made me think would it really matter if the canSer didn’t go fully? I will still have to have a CT scan regularly and as long as I am well I will be fine. I am starting to understand that canSer is a chronic illness not necessarily a life threatening disease. That’s a real thought…..


Today we have friends visiting from Nottingham. They are staying with us for the weekend. If the weather looks good tomorrow then there is nothing better than punting and swigging champagne out of the bottle but I fear we may need to take a brolly or do something more suited to the weather. It’s been raining here all night long. I don’t mind as my garden needed it but I could do with some bright warmth. I feel like a wilting flower. I am striving to go into full bloom but without the rays it ain’t gonna happen!

I saw this link today and thought I was the only lucky girl in the world to have a bear but it seems there is another lucky triple negative survivor with a Bear.

This article featured on American news is really heart warming…

‘Pandora’s Josh Huffman was one of five people honoured Wednesday in Columbus as one of Stefanie’s Champions.

The program annually honours those whose dedication and strength were powerful influences in the lives of cancer survivors. Huffman was nominated by his wife, Laura, a breast cancer survivor.

This is not the first time Huffman has been honoured. In August 2007, he was recognized for saving a woman and child from a van submerged in a flooding river near their home.

“I felt his strength and calmness … it went straight to my soul during a time when my strength and sense of peace was nonexistent,” Laura Huffman said about Josh. She did not tell her husband she was nominating him for the award.

“If she would have, I would not have let her enter my name. I like to stay in the background,” Josh Huffman said. He learned about being selected as one of the champions on Valentine’s Day. “She gave me a card telling me about the award.”

Laura said she learned about the award while reading a book by Stefanie Spielman. Speilman wrote about how her husband, Chris, went above and beyond his role as husband to care for her throughout her battle with cancer.

“It embodied everything Josh was for me,” Laura said. “Josh didn’t skip a beat. He learned everything about breast cancer including the terminology and treatment plan. He always was able to tell me what to expect and what was next.”

At age 31 with a husband and three small children, Laura was diagnosed with advanced triple negative breast cancer. Laura said Josh was at every appointment, making the drive from Pandora to Columbus, regardless of work commitments or how big or small the appointment was.

He rallied Laura through 16 weeks of dense dose chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomies, 38 radiation treatments and two stages of reconstruction. He started a binder, filling it with notes, asking questions and researching everything possible.

Josh Huffman said the hardest part about being a caregiver is seeing your spouse going through the treatments, pain and challenges of having cancer.

“The blessings we received though are all the help we had from our family, friends and church,” he said. “The good part of people around you shines through when you’re struggling.”

Prior to the banquet at Ohio State University’s Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom, the couple were interviewed for several hours to allow the “Stefanie’s Champions” staff to prepare a video on their story. The video was shown at the banquet.

Josh Huffman was presented a glass plaque during the awards ceremony. Accompanying the Huffman’s to the banquet were their three children; Laura’s mother, Kathy Green; Josh’s parents, Charles and Jayne Huffman; and his sister-in-law Amber Huffman. Laura’s father, Don, was out of town and unable to attend.

“We had the opportunity to meet Urban and Shelley Meyer, who were the honorary chairs during the ceremony,” Josh Huffman said. “We really enjoyed that. Especially our children.”

The couple said they will continue to advocate for cancer research and urge their friends to get screened for early detection.’


Awww she is a lucky girl as am I. Bless our Bears. Light and Love. X

Full of beans today following a day of being at Hangover central…..

Saturday night was great fun. After checking into our hotel and preparing for the night ahead we made it to our Vintage tea party-A gaggle of girls drinking jasmine tea champagne cocktails, eating scones and cream and tiny little sandwiches with fillings such as rose petals and honey. It was lovely eating things I wouldn’t normally eat and to be around such a great group of girls. Everyone had made such an effort dressing up in some vintage era from the 20’s through to the 70’s. We finished our night at a Brazilian themed club where we attempted to dance. I say attempted because the music was bizarre and we had all had enough to drink! My feet were killing me. I love wearing heels but they don’t like me.

I really enjoy meeting new people. I get a bit nervous beforehand but I am always so pleased I did. Their reaction to me having canSer was so positive too. I didn’t just dump that info on them, they already had been told of my background and some already follow me on my blog and facebook page. They all seemed to think that I looked well and healthy. That’s one thing I have got totally bagged at the moment. It was a great night… but sleeping with that much alcohol in me was a recipe for insomnia!

I was luckily feeling quite well when I got up and thankfully my wonderful man was picking us up the next morning. At this point I felt chipper and full of beans but after a few hours I think I got a delayed hangover. My man took us for a lovely veggie brekkie in East London before delivering us (the bride to be and my other friend and I) all to our respective homes and destinations. Once home I spent the afternoon on the sofa feeling a little sorry for myself. I felt hugely overtired and a little yucky in general. I can safely say drinking like that is no good for me! Luckily I have a Bear that loves looking after me and fed me up (he is a feeder! Ha ha!) And made me healing tea to flush it out of my system quick fast!

I would have thought bed time couldn’t come quick enough but once tucked up I couldn’t sleep! I hate that overtired feeling. You are so tired and sleep deprived you can’t relax. My body was quite shaky and I sweated for most of the night, it didn’t interfere much with sleep though and today I feel full of beans again!

I have felt on such a high for most of today. My mind has been clear and I have got lots of jobs done and things ticked of my ‘mental‘list. I am amazed I feel so well. I was expecting to feel sluggish and had planned on taking things slow today. But no need… I feel fab!

The day started with watching or rather listening to the news. I struggle to open my eyes in the mornings so listening to the breakfast news is as far as it gets. They told of a new trend in couples meshing their names. Instead of the lady adopting her husband’s name or going for double barrelled names they link and combine their names together. For example one couple names were Griffin and Pew so decided to become Puffin. This tickled me pick and I told Pete once he got out of the shower that as my name was Finch and his is Grant we would be Mr and Mrs Grinch!  Oh how we chuckled. He did say that it suited us! Pah! I don’t think so. We are the opposite of being Grinch –like. Still it is very funny.

I decided today that I would make a food plan for our meals this week. Pete is starting at the gym and he will be home later than normal so I think I should get on with cooking the meals. I ploughed through my new recipe books like Sexy Crazy Kitchen, Honestly Healthy and The Guilt free Gourmet and made a list of recipes that I would like to try this week. I have now made myself a shopping list and will buy everything tomorrow. I plan on making meals that will have leftovers for lunch the following day so that Pete can take some to work too. I think this is a good way of sticking to a healthy diet and one which means there is no hassle at tea time. I am very proud of my forward planning.

I finished my book, Thunk today too. It is quite a hard read as it’s all about clearing your mind using certain techniques and meditation. It has some really good pointers and makes so much sense but I think I may need to revisit the book when I do forget sometimes and become ‘cluttered’. Now on with the other ten books sitting on my shelf! Where to start?

 Today’s research: Pete found more interesting news today from researchers presenting at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013. Paragazole is a novel histone deacetylase inhibitor developed at CU Boulder in the laboratories of Xuedong Liu and Andy Phillips, being tested at the CU Cancer Center. HDAC –Histones play a critical role in cell cycle progression, and developmental events.  In this study, Diamond and colleagues tested the drug against a range of breast cancer cell lines with and without combination with chemotherapies paclitaxel, gemcitabine or carboplatin. Interestingly, it was specifically the cell lines that didn’t express oestrogen – the aggressive, triple-negative cells – that were most affected by paragazole.  

It seems ever since I started fundraising I have noticed there are so many other people making the effort to raise money for different causes too. I met one of the Hen’s friends the other night that is going to being running the London Marathon in a few weeks for Bliss, a charity for premature babies. As her baby was premature she felt compelled to help others. What’s amazing is that she has two small children and also works. She is Wonder Woman!

Here is a link to her blog and at the bottom of it is a link to her giving page if you would like to make a donation. I made my donation earlier today;

This is the charity she is supporting;

So go on spread the love and please help a worthy cause.

Here’s a picture from Saturday night…

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 11.26.15

Life’s good and a hen night tonight to top it off!

My day started early yesterday with a phone call with Mark Newey. He wanted to catch up and discuss things since I had the two days therapy with him incorporating hypnotherapy and life coaching and NLP. He had given me homework to do which comprised of me listing what my top ten values in life re. This may seem a simple task but you list about 30 to begin with then whittle them down to ten. My list consists of the following;

1. Happiness

2. Honesty

3. Gratitude

4. Intuition

5. Laughter

6. Fun

7. Peace

8. Motivation

9. Uniqueness

10. Courage

It’s a good list I think. The list of values can change regularlgy too as I change. I think it reflects me at the moment. it’s really worth trying and seeing what is most important to you. Most of the time the value that is the most important can be the one thing you lack most in your life and what you strive for. Mine is happienss. I certainly don’t lack it anymore!

Other homework was to list all good and bad things that happened throughout my life on a scale of one to ten and also questions about cultural pressures. It was very enlightening. I had done the homework about a month ago so it was interesting to see how things have changed in just a month. Mark is so upbeat and it’s great to get someone else’s view on things and to actually let go of the old stuff that can linger there and be of no use to anyone. It puts so much in perspective. It was really good talking to him, a bit like an old friend and we have agreed when either are in the vicinity we would keep in touch.

The rest of my day was a really pleasant and easy one. In fact it was quite girly. I am going on my best friends hen do tonight so I spent time doing my nails, deciding what to wear and doing a tan. I have succumbed to the grotty weather. At the end of my tether with having no warmth from the sunshine and having no tan I decided to do myself a fake tan. 8 hours later and I have a healthy glow. It makes such a difference to my self esteem and I look even healthier! Ok I know the tan lotion isn’t completely nasty free but it doesn’t contain any parabens so it’s not all bad. (I use Fake Bake tan for anyone that wants to try it out!)

This morning I was woken very early by a big snuffling Bear. As much as I love my sleep I wouldn’t want it any other way. Being woken up with such love and happiness is the best thing ever and what a way to start the day.  I feel very sad for anyone who doesn’t have this much love in their life.

After mediation, yoga, heat and air and my supplements and green smoothie I decided it had been a while that I had used my neti pot. I have been suffering with rhinitis recently. I simply cannot stop my nose from running. It’s continuous and with the cold weather it’s worse now than when I was away in Thailand for example. I don’t think I am allergic to anything but maybe it’s a side effect of some of the medication I am taking. I’m not that hard done so it’s nothing to really worry about. However doing the neti pot ritual this miring was brilliant. I am totally clear, feel energised and for a brief moment my running dripping nose has stopped. (Nice mental image for you all!)

So I am all ready for my trip to London to party with my Boo and I feel really energised and happy. It made me think of an email my blog friend sent me the other day when she said, ‘You have a very powerful tool in the bracelets you have made for people. A little bit of your wonderful energy, spirit and kindness is in each and every one of those bracelets you have made…. so whenever you need it, picture every single person that has bought one wearing their bracelet, and that positive energy and power joining together and multiplying over and over….. It is far more powerful than any tumour out there, and you can harness that whenever you feel the need for that extra fight ‘. What a lovely thing to say and I hadn’t considered that before. It does give me strength and I feel really good.

Speaking of the bracelets and fundraising I was informed today that the total amount paid to Breast Cancer Breakthrough from my own donations and others charity initiatives’ is up to £5,240! This is great and there are still plenty of bracelets being sold and more charity initiatives in the pipeline. A member of Petes’ team has decided that he is going to run a half marathon for our charities and his training starts Monday. Pete has agreed to train in the gym with him so its good news all round! I’m very grateful for the effort people are still going to. We won’t stop!

So, leaving on a high note,  I am looking forward to a girly giggle tonight and then being back in my Bears’ arms tomorrow watching legs and bums (rugby) on TV. I love weekends like this!

A night of antihistamines and imodium :(

So the Easter break has passed and we are all back to our routines and reality. I actually like having a routine and as much as I never want to be alone and for Pete to go back to work it does mean I can get lots done and focus on my rituals. It was good to get back to meditating, yoga and exercise. Yesterday was a good day and it was lovely to have the sun shining yet again despite the frosty temperatures.

I had my clinic appointment in the morning and it was very efficient and as usual was met with Prof Harris. My appointment was at 12 and I was seen at 12! Wow! That has never happened before. Prof Harris asked me questions about how I was feeling and other than feeling tired some mornings whilst on chemo there was nothing to report. He decided to examine my chest by listening through his stethoscope. I asked how it sounded and he said, ‘Clear as a whistle’. Great stuff. He asked if I had my ct scan yet. No. I haven’t even had a letter with an appointment date. He seems very keen for me to have this but it has only been 7 weeks so far since my last one. I had envisaged it being sometime late in May. But I guess if it comes sooner, then it does.. That’s all there is to it. I am not prepared for it to be sooner. I feel like I need to revise, swot up and put more hours of extra effort in. In what? In visualising and being ‘better’. If I had more time maybe I could have a few weeks of being really good and working every day to blast the little buggers from my body. I am still finding it hard to get my head round that all along I wanted not to worry so much and to have a normal life not worrying and now I am worrying because I’m not worrying! I simply cannot win! I won’t allow myself to be ok with this. I just don’t want to be caught out and crushed if the news isn’t what I want it to be. It’s a lot to go through every couple of months. It ruins the flow of life. I should correct that. I ruin the flow of life as it is me that’s worrying about it.

Anyway moving on with the day I was really looking forward to my tea as Pete was making us Tuna nicoise salad. I love Pete’s food and cooking. The problem is the dish is never the same twice. He is very creative and you never know what flavours you may get. Last night was one of those. We both seemed a bit bemused with the taste of the salad as it was a bit bitter. I felt some tingling in my mouth and I thought it had chilli or pepper coming through. Straight after tea Pete said his eye was itching and it looked really swollen and the fleshy part on the inner corner of the eye had started to protrude. I thought it odd but nothing much else until I started to get a banging head ache. I thought it was really odd as I haven’t had a headache since last July. Then I began to feel really hot and a sense of blood rushing round my ears and shoulders. I looked at Pete and he looked the same too. This is where we began to Google our symptoms (as you do) and found we were having an allergic reaction to something we had eaten. The only things we could think of were coriander and mustard seeds. Apparently when combined with raw vegetables they can react to cause something called and Oral Allergy Syndrome. How weird for us both to get it though? Neither of us are allergic to anything. Our hearts were racing; our bodies hot and itchy and then we got the stomach upset. Then there were hours of diarrhoea. Wow what an exciting night! Eventually after taking antihistamines and Imodium we went to bed where we slept like logs, probably from our bodies trying to repair themselves. I felt terrible this morning. I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. I did eventually manage to do my morning exercise and felt ok.

I had my monthly acupuncture session today which I had been looking forward to for the whole month but I felt so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open to get there and back. In fact I actually had a nap on the treatment couch. I can’t remember feeling so tired. So tired in fact that today has been a spent trying to wake and feeling less than motivated. What I need is a great big sleep! I intend on having this tonight and then I have a lovely afternoon with clients. Yay!

Acupuncture was good (what I can remember of it) and many points felt very sensitive. Michael worked more on boosting my energy and balancing me. He did ask if I was having night sweats and hot flashes. This is worrying as he must tell something from my pulse. He is very good like that. He treats many ladies for fertility and can tell when they are about to have their monthly cycle. If he is asking me about that whilst feeling my pulse my guess is he knows something I do not. I am not going to let this bother me. It does fill me with sadness not having children of our own and in my head I still believe that I will one day stop chemo and be able to have our own. But as it stands I am not stopping chemo as it seems to be working.

I had to wait for my blood results from the hospital before I started chemo this morning. They came back fine as usual and there I go starting day one of chemo again. Fingers crossed that everything carries on as normal.

So tonight’s’ menu is something safe. I don’t want Pete and me to look all scary again tonight! Ha ha!