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Feeling a bit Overwhelmed ? Me too!

So we have survived the Summer, Gave our children some fab memories and sent them off for a new term at school (or not). You have tried to get back into your normal routine whilst getting ready for the season ahead.

There is that sense of dread right in your gut. You wonder why you feel that way but no answers at the moment. You have that cup of motivational Coffee and try to push through but that urge to run away or at the very least build yourself a duvet fort is Strong and unrelenting.

What is WRONG with me?!!!!

You start to doubt your abilities and you can see your thoughts start to spiral (because surprise, you've been here before!)

STOP. BREATHE.

Ring someone you trust, Remind yourself about all the times you've been here and HOW you bounced back. Write a blog post after that eureka moment. Anything to stop the Thoughts >Feelings >Mood cycle.

This is the one thing I learnt at CBT that has actually stayed with me.

Cut yourself some slack, it's probably not as bad…

Double Mastectomy Recovery - No Reconstruction (The First Few Weeks)

I meant to write this blog around the week 2 mark but i'm kinda glad I waited. This will give an overview of what my experience was like. I think it is important to note that, we are all different so my experience may not look the same as yours.

Day 1

I came round to a heavy-ish feeling in my chest and feeling very hazy from the anaesthetic. I hadn't eaten all day so I had some toast at about 6ish. I slept the evening away. I had 3 drains in. I did my first wobbly steps around the ward to use the bathroom. Pain wise , It wasn't as bad as I expected. I only needed paracetamol.


Day 2

I felt more human, still tired but in good spirits. my arms felt restricted, I also had a wide dressing all around which i think contributed to that feeling. I got to go home that afternoon. I used my Jen's Pillow for a smoother ride home. That night, I had major anxiety about sleeping in my own bed with my drains. I had images of drains tugging at night and blood soaked sheets. My husband helpe…

What to put in your Hospital Bag for a Mastectomy

I have scrawled across the internet , read lots of blogs and watched lots of videos. Most of which were of an American slant. I have come to the conclusion that the American hospital system is very different to our good old NHS. I asked lots of people who have been through this too. I also used information from the booklet entitled "Planned Admissions" which I was given when I went in for my Wide Excision back in March.  Putting all the above to use, here is what I have packed in my hospital bag .

Most British hospitals do not have vast amount of space so you are advised to bring a soft bag not a suitcase. I chose my favourite Cath Kidston X Disney Peter Pan Tote. It's not a big bag either.


George Post Surgery PJs (with internal drain management pockets.George Post Surgery Dressing Gown (also with Drain Management)My trusty bedroom bootsFleece BlanketSpare underwearToiletry bag containing Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Deodorant, Face creamNaty Baby Eco Wipes Spare changePrescri…

My Breasts & I - Part 3

I still have my boobs for all of 34 hours 23 minutes and counting.
It is a strange place to be let me tell you. I have joined a number of Mastectomy groups to help me cope with everything and I have learnt a lot. I have also realised a few things. I fall into a weird group where I don't have Cancer (as far as i know), the Mastectomy isn't purely Prophylactic as in the case of those with the BRCA gene (therefore high risk for cancer) . I'm as usual, an oddity.

A medical marvel that experienced doctors can't fathom. Yet, I have found myself rejoicing, empathising & mourning with these women in my phone. At the end of the day, suffering is suffering. Pain is Pain and we all end up living our lives sans boobies.

Another thing that I've realised is my attitude to Cancer. I honestly don't know if it's a good thing or not. However, living with several  lifelong conditions mean that I do ruminate quite frequently about my own mortality. I spent the next few mon…

My Exercise Vibe with RA ( Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Ever since I was diagnosed last year with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I have been searching for a way to get back to enjoying movement. Prior to diagnosis, I loved to run. Being out in the woods with just the trees and the animals was my favourite thing to do. I wasn’t fond of pounding the pavements, for many reasons, but in the woods, I felt free and was able to push myself, or just wander. I was actually training for a half-marathon with only two weeks to go when symptoms appeared. At first, I didn’t think it was anything as my training was pretty gruelling. One day, after a long run, I took a nap and woke up with the worst pain ever, as well as feeling feverish. That was that, no more long runs for me since that day. I went through all the steps in the cycle of grief. I have finally gotten to a place of acceptance and along with that, I have found that although it hurts initially, exercise does help keep me mobile..



I wrote this post originally for Arthur's Place! To read the rest, Click…

Travel : Lancaster, UK

This past half term holiday, We ( My Hubby, Sons & Myself) travelled to Lancaster. We have spent most of our Holidays down south. So Devon, Cornwall & Dorset. We've done Somerset & parts of Wales too. Anyway, We decided to start exploring the North. We did the Yorkshire Moors a few years ago and I did love how the landscape & architecture defers from down here.



I've been reading a lot of Milly Johnson books too. They are typically set in Yorkshire so I've been eager to get up there.

Our caravan was in the seaside town of Morecambe. The caravan park did shock us a little with how populated it was. There were A LOT of caravans. We aren't used to resorts like that, there was less greenery that we liked in the park. However, thankfully we don't tend to spend ages on the resort itself. We like to go out and explore the area. We walked into the town centre and saw how rundown bits of it was (like most high streets in the UK currently) , We then stopped a…

Tick.Tock

Tick.Tock

Tick.Tock

Tick.Tock

I live with a certain sound. One only I can hear. It’s with me every breath I take. I deal with it the best way I know how, researching every darn thing. Still, it makes its presence known. Tick.Tock. I live with a lump.

Counting down the days to surgery, knowing it isn’t Malignant (as far as they know) doesn’t help. I know that a new lump can trigger the same processes I know so well. Ultrasound, Core Biopsy, waiting, results. I’m on my 6th cycle. I can never truly relax because I’m living with a bomb in my chest.


Travel : Brussels (Plannercon Europe 2019)

It's been a while since I did a Travel post on here! It's been a Month since I went to Brussels, hard to believe it really. A lot has happened since then!


I bought my earlybird ticket last year, I knew i wanted this adventure to look forward to. I really enjoy travelling as you guys know but I'm finding that I enjoy Solo travel too. Having  RA has meant that I have become cautious and my adventurous spirit has been restless. I have learnt not to count myself out too eagerly. My mobility and stamina might be compromised somewhat but I should still be able to taste life.  Although Plannercon itself was exciting, I loved exploring the home of my favourite detective Hercule Poirot. My favourite bit of the weekend was making new friends. 

I took the Eurostar and chose the Standard ticket ( no accessibility perks) the first thing I noticed was how far back the chair was. I used my Jacket to create some lumbar support and it was fine. 2 hours later, I was in Brussels. I used the …

My Breasts & I - Part 2

Since I wrote the first part of this Saga last year, a lot of things have happened. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you'd know my health hasn't been stellar over the last year. I added multiple ailments to my roster. 




The results for the previous Mass came through as not Malignant (YAY!) since then I've had various recurrences in both breasts (6 Core Biopsies, 1 Mammogram ) I had a wide excision about a month and a half ago where the surgeon attempted to get rid of most of the masses. 



A week later at my Post OP Check up, I was distraught to find out he didn't take all the masses in there because I knew we'd only end up back where we begun. After he left and suggested a "wait and see " approach, I broke down crying in front of the nurses in the room because it just seemed like all the pain, suffering I had endured was never going to end. 

A week later, I had another mass begin to form. I was right. I was bloody right. Back to the start except now I h…

Anniversaries - Memories they Evoke

It has been a whole year since this whole thing began.

Before this I did have multiple challenges that I was juggling whilst trying to lead a kick ass life. This crash that happened last Spring
has been hard but very necessary. I'm the first person to tell my friends and family to cut themselves some slack. I however am not very good at giving myself that slack.

This has forced my body into doing down a gear or two. I still punish myself mentally though which is so not the best. I was just speaking about this to my therapist the other day. I give myself a good talking to - CHILL OUT LUCE!  YOU ARE REALLY DOING YOUR BEST. SO WHAT IF YOU CAN'T DO IT ALL. Sometimes I even say these out loud.

I left my job at the charity I was working at in November, I didn't have any downtime really as the business Christmas rush was already ramped up. That didn't really slow down until Christmas week. I had been treating my business like a 9-5 which it shouldn't be seeing as I no l…

The Blank Page

I think most writers would've experienced the frustration of the persistent blank page at one time or another in their lives.
Lately, that's all I've experienced. It's like my brain is so tired to be creative. I figured the only way to by pass this stage and move on is by writing about the experience therefore conquering the blank page! (see what I did there?) Hopefully, my plan works out.

I just had a brain wave - Maybe you could suggest things you want me to write about?  ANYTHING (within reason - I am pretty open though)

Hope to hear from you,

Lucy

False Alarms, Friends & Fridays

This week has been an intense one. After the shock of receiving my surgery date quite mundanely on the Thursday before Mr B left for his work trip, I quickly reverted to my trusty coping mechanism - PLANNING.

I rallied friends to help me pick the boys up from school, one to take them to school on the surgery date, my sister to be home as a contingency & Taxis to drive me about for the week.

I agonised over asking friends to pitch in, I’m someone who grew up having to sort her shit out by herself so relying on others doesn’t come naturally, I lamented to geographically distant friends about my conundrum, my fear of appearing to take liberties but they rightly assured me that I should ask.

I’m so glad I did because the response was amazing and a MASSIVE weight off my shoulders. I felt so loved.

The actual date came, Tuesday. Everything ran with Miltary precision. The taxi was on time, We dropped the boys en route to the hospital and I was at the reception desk with 5 mins to spare.

Friendship as Adults - The good, The Rude, The Er well.

As a very vocal introverted INFJ , Friendships have always been peculiar to me.
I’m very friendly, easy to get along with HOWEVER, I can count on my fingers the amount of close friends I have. I find it very difficult to be part of a group. My independent streak is way too strong.  Growing up, I always wanted a Anne/Diana kind of friendship which I did have from age 2-11. I think to evaluate my social circles at present, my husband is my bestest friend. Then I have friends from the different circles I frequent, then acquaintances (I have tons of those) . 
When I became a Mum the first time, I found it particularly lonely because although I had lots of friends to do things with only a handful actually got to know the real me and the shit I was dealing with (and for them I’m so grateful)
Vulnerability doesn’t come easy to me, having grown up in an environment where that was used to hurt you. I’m slowly absorbing the Brenè Brown idea that vulnerability equals strength. 
I think friendshi…

Hair Journey : Twist Outs & Hair Hauls

If you know me in real life, You would have noticed that I have been growing out my grade 2 fro.
I spoke about my hair being a reliable barometer for my internal health in the past. This I think is still a fair assessment.

I was going away for the weekend and my plan was to use my time on the mainland to get my hair twisted. This wasn't meant to be though as I was let down by the hairdresser ( with a very condescending "Sorry Sweetie" *eye roll*) So I needed to get my hair sorted.

On Thursday evening, Whilst I watched Death in Paradise, I got my supplies together. These were

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold and Shine MistShea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing SmoothieDenman Detangling BrushSpray BottleOlive Oil I started by spraying each section with the mist, moisturising it, detangling with the Brush before finally twisting it. I then sealed with the oil. 
Paying attention to the front, I made sure to part it the way I wanted it to look and took sm…