Laughter is the best medicine

Laughter is the best medicine. All part of my ten point plan- mental fitness, staying happy is right up there in getting well and staying well. Life is far too serious even more so when you have canSer or live with someone who has canSer. I’m sure there are statistics and studies on how laughter actually increases the immune system and helps heal a person. Instead of boring you with those facts I just want to tell you from my own experience- Laughter definitely makes you feel good, full of beans and let’s you forget your worries. A bit like being absorbed in a movie, a bit of escapism and forgetting your own woes. (I do this watching The Holiday with Jude Law in it! Nudge nudge, wink wink girls- Emma and Liz you know what I mean! Ha ha) Last night Pete, myself and friends watched a live comedy show, Mickey Flanagan actually. Oh my how my cheeks hurt from laughing so much. An awesome show. I think I like him and his material so much because of my east London roots and the way Mickey talks. (No I am not from Essex Mr G! I lived on the outskirts, right on the boundaries.. I cannot express enough I am not an Essex girl even if I do act like one sometimes! 🙂 )

I laughed for nearly three hours solid. I can’t remember the last time I did that! I’m still buzzing with happiness. 

Right now I’m sat in a hotel near Heathrow airport. We fly out to Germany tomorrow for my third round of dendritic cell therapy and Newcastle disease virus. I’m already missing my kitty and being at home but I keep thinking that maybe if I’m strong enough that next month may be my last for a while. As much as I am thrilled that I am able to have this treatment going every month can be quite demanding not to mention so expensive. 

Once I have had all four vaccines I will have a ct scan to see if it’s all working still if not better than before. I can’t help but think how good I feel mentally and physically. Ok I have had days of tiredness but other than that I can’t complain. The only other thing wrong with me is my butt aching! I did a thirty minute legs routine yesterday followed with thirty minutes of yoga… Seriously ow! Squats, lunges and high kicks. Well it must have raised my metabolism as I have been hungry and eating loads since and I’m sure I’m not increasing weight!( I know weight isn’t something to worry about unless I lose a lot but old habits die hard!)

So the Bear and I will hopefully sleep really well. Better than one of our other airport hotel stays I hope. We were woken at 2am by the fire alarm. I love hotel beds. The covers are soft and luxurious and the beds are usually huge….. Must not sleep yet!!! I’m really looking forward to the hotel in Duderstadt. It’s different to our usual one- a bit of a treat with a pool and sauna. If the weather is as dreary as here then tomorrow I will enjoying the facilities! Yeha!

I’ve been getting more emails from other canSer survivors. I really do feel comforted, empowered and ever more driven to keep going. I owe it to them all! And I’m so pleased people find comfort in my blogs. Silly really as all I’m doing is writing my journal….

So things to do more of; drawing, make bracelets and sleep! Oh and cuddles with my man. Where is he? 

Xx

I’ve been in touch with my ‘Soul Sister’!

I have been at mums for a few days and as usual I never want to leave. There is nothing like being in your parents’ company. Well looked after and always cosy. I love her home and all her bits and pieces lying around. Properly comfortable and lived in.

I still managed to DO my rituals and mum joined me in meditation and yoga. These things are catching. Once one gets on the band wagon everyone seems to get on board. It’s infectious. I take it all as a compliment. I must be looking well if people want to emulate it.

We managed to do lots of my ten point plan mainly physical, mental, and nutritional but helping me with my self esteem we had to do some retail therapy… again! Sorry Pete! I am very excited with my purchases. I have discovered through the last few years but mostly the last nine months that I look quite quirky and my old fashioned hairdo has been replaced with an odd funky one. I like the new me. I feel comfortable in baggy harem style jeans but when I get the choice dressing up glam is so totally exciting. I love clothes… (Everyone knows this especially as I constantly have clear outs as my poor wardrobes heave) I must do some kind of charity drive with regards to my clothes. I must get my thinking cap on.

As mum did all the driving over the last few days I got to check email and I have been receiving a few lovely emails from people that have found my blog and website. One lady called Leticia Croft Holguin who lives in the USA contacted me and told me her story. She has a blog and a book in the US.  She found she had triple negative breast canSer when was pregnant. I couldn’t even comprehend this. But overcoming hardship she’s thriving today and has written a book to help children understand canSer.  It’s called Cancer starts with a C and is illustrated too. What a great idea?! Here is a link to her book;

http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781622952991

 

Then I got another email titled ‘Soul Sisters’ from a lovely lady who lives here in the UK. We are of similar age and our stories are almost identical in when we found canSer and had treatment etc. The difference with this wonderful lady is that she luckily took matters into her own hands when it was found the second time and had a mastectomy and then embarked on alternative and complementary treatments. The canSer has not metastasised thankfully but she has still gone and had dendritic cell therapy with the one and only Dr Nesselhut in Duderstadt! Oh my! I was so taken back and absolutely thrilled. It reinforces what I am doing and gives me more hope for the future. Since this she has also changed her life for the better. She has introduced a more spiritual way of life along with nutritional changes including supplements and so on. Wow. I knew what was working for me couldn’t be a one off. What I felt most encouraged by was how she said that when she read my blogs that it was as if she had written it. The thoughts, feelings and ups and downs were the same as how she feels. I love this. This spurs me on and makes me realise there must be others like us.  I feel this whole sisterhood is materialising and that together we can shout our small victories from the roof tops! I am getting all over excited.

Any way back to reality and things are great. I am back home where I belong and my kitty is happy sitting by my side and my Bear is coming home to give me a cuddle as ‘I’ must need them..Ha-ha!  Bless him. No shame in needing cuddles.  You know nothing can get me down. All this talk (or moaning I should say) about the dreary weather. But is it worth moaning about? Yep, I agree it’s not great and as reminded by mum this time last year we were sunbathing in her back garden but that’s life. Everything is different. I would much rather be living in a climate like Ibiza but we don’t we live here in good old blighty. We have to make the most of what we have got and be thankful that things aren’t worse. That’s the biggest lesson I have learnt since I ‘woke up’ and realised that life was going to be taken from me if I didn’t start living, is gratitude.  Gratitude makes you happy. It’s impossible not be happy when you are grateful. Immediately a smile creeps across your face and you feel calm. If I were in a Disney animation birds would be singing, rabbits hopping, and I would be singing at the top of my lungs and cracking windows! Ha-ha! Life is brilliant if you can see the good things out there. Like I have said a million times… ‘No one said it was going to be easy’. But to add on that saying, but boy it could be fun and filled with love and gratitude.  Happy thoughts and feelings. Long may they continue.

I’m off to wait by the front door like an excited puppy for my One to come home.  J

What’s important in your life?

I haven’t blogged for a few days partly because it was the weekend and it was so fun filled and fully packed that I just didn’t get time but also because I had actually forgotten. This surprised me. I love blogging/journaling. But I guess it’s a sign of how I feel at the moment. I am living rather than contemplating. On the one hand I think  it is good but on the other I feel it makes me lazy as I think writing my thoughts and feeling every day is important to reflect what is I going on in my life.

The weekend as mentioned was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.. Great company, food, drink and lots of love. Yesterday was spent cleaning and getting my life back in order. I love my weekends but I love control and order and feel all a bit floopy until get myself all back to black again. Well that was achieved yesterday. Amongst cleaning, ironing, changing beds as well as my rituals it was a good cathartic day…..mostly.

Today hasn’t been flowing quite so much but mainly because I had to be at the hospital at ten for my bloods and clinic appointment. I’m due to start round five of chemo tomorrow. I saw the Prof today again and he had a junior doctor with him. Prof asked me to tell the little doctor all about my website and blog and said how inspirational I am! Whoa.. Me and the Prof getting on and him bigging me up. He actually said he saw me in the Oxford Times magazine. Yep, I was featured again in the oxford Times. I’ve attached it for you to see.. (not the best picture- they always do that don’t they? Anyway being less critical and moving on…) He did say that provided my next scan shows no growth then i would probably go on another 6 cycles of the same chemo. Now I don’t feel bad about this but also it just makes me realise that they think it is simply chemo stopping the growth and that without it I am well… going to get sick and die. I still find it all so hard to grasp. I really cannot understand and probably refuse to. I really truly believe that I am going to be free of cancer without needing chemo for the rest of my life. I know mad, naive whatever you call it.. Optimist I say.

Yesterday I started Deepak Chopras 21 day meditation challenge. This time it is about perfect health. Perfect for me! The meditations are only short but is good to do something different and if you are new to meditation a great place to start.  Here’s the link if you fancy trying it out;

http://www.chopracentermeditation.com/Bestsellers/LandingPage.aspx?BookId=178

 

I’m feeling really well at present . My hands aren’t even a bit sore and apart from being sleepy and dragging myself out of bed every morning I really do feel great. I have been feeling a bit lazy recently and maybe taking things for granted but for once in a while it’s nice to revel in the knowledge that I am doing fine and according to my last scan very well…. Then I get to thinking that I should be trying harder. I shouldn’t let the visualisations slip and that it’s time to really focus. I’m struggling with that at the moment. This week is pretty busy and if my routine is all over the place things just don’t flow. I wonder if that now I am feeling less strict about things that I am actually achieving a perfect balance in life. I am enjoying as much as I am trying and I keep thinking of being kind to myself. I have been a bit relaxed with my eating over the weekend and it doesn’t worry me too much purely because it feels right. I do love to have control so I think that maybe coming back to where I know works for me is that right thing to do.

I have been doing my homework that Mark Newey gave me after my visit with him last week. It has been quite interesting but hard at the same time. I had to list my values. What’s important in life to me? I had to list 30 then whittle them down to my top ten. It’s harder than you think. I have sent it off to Mark and will chat with him at some stage to discuss what he thinks. I received my hypnotherapy cd’s this morning that he recorded also. I look forward to using them when needs be.

On Saturday I got two interesting letters. The first was an invitation to a presentation at the John Radcliffe hospital about up and coming treatment, research and surgery with the cancer and haematology department. I was surprised to be invited but of course have booked both Pete and I for it. Should be interesting and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Then the second letter was a copy of the letter that has been sent to my doctors following my recent clinic appointment. It’s the best I have ever got. It says that my scan results are excellent and that I am at my ideal weight and very fit and healthy which has been shown to help with combating breast cancer. I want more of these letters please!

Regarding being fit and healthy I have been trying to finish my book, ‘Getting well again’. I have been slacking with the reading but got plenty of time to catch up today whilst waiting at hospital. I read that exercise teaches our body to pay attention to our body’s needs. The feeling of vitality and health that you get from regular exercise helps you see your body as friend, a source of pleasure, something deserving of your care and attention. If exercise can bring about physical changes in your immune system and the psychological attitude that contributes to the quality of life then exercising is well worth it. I couldn’t agree more. Yet I still feel I should do more of it.

One of my jobs yesterday was to make more bracelets. Yes.. They have all been distributed and people are requesting more. I am on a roll. I made another 70 and will be giving them to a friend tomorrow as she has pre orders plus has an agreement with a shop to sell them for me?! Cool!

I am still overwhelmed by how many people are wanting them and how they say they like them. I knew it was a good idea but not this good! Eek! So far I have made £1785 on Virgin Giving plus I have cash home here and then there are my little sellers out there all making lots of bundles of cash.. I really hope we can keep going!

This afternoon I am working and I am loving it. I have been doing facials and HD brows and I really can’t get enough. But it’s all about balance. I must be happy and must feel calm. The moment I think I am doing too much my head goes to mash. It’s all about balance.

The days fly by and I hope I am still feeling as grateful for every day that I am given. I am still planning the future and really trying to keep my head clear so that I don’t let neggy thoughts creep back in and making me worry. I want to be given a clean bill of health and know that I am cancer free. Asking too much? Nope. It’s a no brainer…..X

tt2

I’m excited, I’m off skiing tomorrow!

Just a quick blog to say how excited I am.. I’m off to skiing tomorrow in Austria! Tonight we stay in the airport hotel and then first thing hop on a jet plane.. Fa la la.

Today has been a day of getting stuff sorted out but I have felt incredibly tired again. Like I need to go to bed, tired. Last night I slept really well although I did get up a few times in the night and once at about 4am I decided to try and use my active mind to do some visualisations on my lung and lymph. The wind was so noisy that I decided to oimainge the wind blowing the cells aways. I also imagined climbing up a ladder into my brain which was like a control room and turned a big switch off which was labelled ‘blood supply to canSer cells’. Then I turned a switch on for ‘dendritic cells’. On turning off the switch to the canSer tumours, they all went out like lights. I had a funny tingling sensation in my heel so imagined that  the cells were leaking out of me like running water down a drain. Not long after that I fell asleep again. Bizarre. The tiredness during the day though I think is caused by the anti sickness tablets but if it has been like the previous times it should get better over the next couple of days. It had better or I am not going to be any use up a mountain skiing!

I have to admit I have  been feeling a little bit lazy with all the visualisations. It’s like doing exercise for the mind. It can be quite hard work but I also don’t want canSer to take over my every waking thought. It has been nice lately relaxing a bit. Food is easier, supplements are hugely simpler, and I have really been planning my future. I hope I am not in denial and haven’t taken my eye off the ball, so to speak.

I have been in contact with Susie who was on the Nicola Jane photo shoot with me. She is based close to me, in Oxford, and we plan on meeting up when I get back. She has just got back from staying at the Ice hotel and seeing the Northern Lights. This is on my To Do list and I am very excited to hear all about her trip so that I can book it for me and my Bear.

Other than that I am packed, and as ready as I’ll ever be. I won’t be blogging for a week or so but may put updates on facebook.

Tschus!

 

Christmas jumpers, snowballs and turkey..

Christmas Day!!!! What a wonderful day it has been. So full of love and pressies! We visited ray this morning at the hospital and took him a few gifts and mince pies. He seemed happy to see us all (despite moaning a bit about the nursing staff!) The day has really been so amazing. I am very happy and it’s actually been the little things that have pleased me the most. I have received many hearts, candles and buddhas as gifts.

Today I decided to eat turkey! Yep, I came away from the vegan diet as I simply couldn’t resist. It was well worth it! Pete’s cooking is the best.

We watched tv and heard lots of carols and hymns and one of them being ‘In the bleak mid winter’. My mum promptly cried as we remembered me singing solo in a primary school nativity play. I was the little poor girl. Not sure how that goes with the birth of Jesus, yet I was there in my raggedy dress singing all on my own. Never again would I do that. I absolutely hate public speaking or anything that puts me on stage in the limelight. Maybe it was that what caused me to have such a fear! Anyway, it was good remembering and singing along yesterday.

The Queens speech was good and we really have had a momumentus year in so many ways as a nation. I  have never felt so proud to be British. It’s so weird how this year has been so successful yet has been the biggest year for change in my whole life. The best and possibly the worst year, depending on how you look at it. I always think of myself as the Phoenix. Never arising as the same bird. I have changed from the old person I used to be to this newer (improved) version. Well that’s what I like to think. 🙂

Good ol Christmas tv had us watching some dodgy programmes as well as Call the Midwife, classic drama. We were all surprised to enjoy and I really didn’t expect it to hit such a nerve with me. Maybe I had one too many fizzy drinks but for one moment I felt incredibly sad that I won’t be able to have my own little bundle of love, at that if I listened to the doctors, I am technically on my last few years of life. That passed pretty quickly as I thought, ‘rubbish’ and shook it off. Still life is so uncertain and even though noone knows what is going to happen from day to day at least you can plan as if you will still be here. I can’t go getting pregnant. It wouldn’t be right (even if I could fall pregnant- which is highly unlikely.) With that in mind, my heart goes out to the mother and two children in the M6 car crash this morning. So sad.

I’m not sure if it’s the Naltrexone I have been taking but I really haven’t been worrying about the canSer quite so much recently. I can’t put my finger on it. I just don’t feel like that at the moment. May this feeling stay with me.

Anyway let’s leave those sober thoughts behind and be merry and have fun. We are all wearing our Christmas jumpers and I’m off for another snowball! Hic!