Just another day above ground, all is well

16th January, 2008 2.10pm, a doctor leans his head to one side, looks at me and says ‘I’m sorry it’s cancer’. And in that moment, and with those few words, my life is changed forever.

For many years following my illness, and subsequent seemingly never ending medical treatments for Stage 3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer, gruelling physical and emotional challenges, I anxiously awaited the 16th January, as every cancer patient knows reaching the magical 5 years survival is a key date. And after 10 years, the risk of recurrence which looms ever present,  is greatly reduced if not eliminated.

No Evidence Of Disease (NED), is the best I will get with IBC, but I’ll take that.

So I am spending this anniversary on a day of self love and self care, something I advocate and write about and know that many people, women especially, struggle with.

So a hair cut and colour for me, after I remind myself that having ‘old woman’s hair’ , thin and sparse, is a minor annoyance, and to stop feeling so sorry for myself.

Then off to a ‘luxury foot treatment’ ,  my feet another constant reminder; peripheral neuropathy and constant pain are my lingering companions. A side effect of chemotherapy that is another minor annoyance.

But I am still here, maybe older, but I need to remind myself that is a privilege denied to many. Time now to look forward, not back, it was bloody awful, but God willing it is in the past. I have learnt so much in these 11 years, about treatment, chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, anxiety, depression, fatigue and struggles at work. I have been badly let down by people I thought were my friends. But my heart has also been filled with the love, good humour and generosity of so many people. I have also learnt about nutrition, reiki, Healing Codes,  the therapeutic power of thought, of love and of singing. I have been to the amazing Penny Brohn centre and learnt about the mind, body soul connection, and the importance of managing stress. I learned more about the immune system and how it works to detect and destroy cancer cells in your body, and they helped me put a plan in place to strengthen my health and build up resilience.I have learnt that self confidence is something that anyone can achieve, with some work and focus, I studied this so much that I wrote a little book about it, which I self published.

I have learnt that when I thought it wasn’t possible to love my family any more, three grandchildren have come along in quick succession. They have given me the wonderful gift of watching them grow up and their love fills my heart.

I have learnt that I am not perfect, but that’s OK. I’m doing my best, and trying to help others too.

And I have learnt to look forward, for there is so much to look forward to.

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I am so grateful, to my husband, family and friends for their constant love and support. And to you dear reader, thank you for reading.

Posted in breast cancer, cancer, chemotherapy, depression, gratitude, healing, inflammatory breast cancer, manchester, No evidence of disease | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year! Intentions for 2019

It’s that time of year again – yes already! Time to reflect on the blessings that 2018 brought, and there were many. Some sad times too, but that is all part of life especially as you grow older. Time really does speed up with every year, and it easy to get caught up in the day to day business of busy lives to forget what is really important to you.new beginnings padI do love the month of January, it’s a time to reflect on what went well last year, and resolve to learn the lessons from what didn’t go to plan.

Lots of people will be in ‘detox’ mode after the excesses of Christmas, too much rich food, alcohol and lack of exercise is certainly taking it’s toll on me. I have restarted my healthy food regime, in a gentle way, no strict dieting, and am back to yoga and pilates and a build up to more strenuous cardio exercise. This feels like nurturing and caring for myself, rather than throwing myself into a drastic change of routine that will feel like punishment, and will be hard to maintain.

diet - not just what you eatI am also detoxing my house, inspired by the wonderful Marie Kondo, I have read her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Her Netflix series is a great watch for me, I love anything about transformation, and I studied Feng Shui many years ago. It’s not just the physical changes that come from tidying up, the changes in shifts of energy, improved confidence and simply more enjoyment of life are wonderful.

The satisfaction of letting go of clutter, or as Marie says, things that do not ‘spark joy’ is immense. It is so much easier to stay organised when you have less stuff. So several bags for the charity shop have also made me feel good.

I am also becoming more mindful of the negative energy that can be allowed into the subconscious if you allow it. Whilst I am very interested in politics and the world around me, I am limiting the time I spend getting updates, and have un-followed several negative influences on social media.

I am far from perfect, but I am learning to like myself, this really resonated with me:

things to leave in 2018I shared this on Facebook today, and the reaction shows me I am not the only one struggling with these issues.

So in 2019 I am setting the intention of ending the struggle, and enjoying the dance as I work out strategies to cope with, if not totally eliminate, these pesky habits.

Thanks for reading, and remember we are all perfectly imperfect. And that’s OK, it really is.

With much love, Gabby x

Posted in breast cancer, clutter, detox, feng shui, gratitude, inflammatory breast cancer, manchester, marie kondo, netflix, weight loss, yoga | 1 Comment

Time for change

Well, this is scary. As a person who has suffered with insecurities and depression, I always make an effort for my social media posts to be positive, even if I’m having a bad day. I am well aware that my petty problems are nothing compared to some poor people’s struggles. I am so grateful to be an inflammatory breast cancer survivor, almost 10 years now. I keep telling myself that a day above ground is always a good day. I am lucky to have wonderful family and friends. But I still grieve for the person that I used to be. My body and hair will never be what they once were, but I know I’m not alone there.

I have worked really hard over the last 10 years to do everything I could to enjoy every day. I didn’t recover from an aggressive cancer to be bloody miserable. But life gets in the way, and my old career of finance  management kept calling me back, especially when funds were tight and I needed cash for my next holiday.

But last week I suffered a panic attack in work. I’ll spare you the details but a queue of people at my desk, an ever growing email list and a demanding work schedule just pushed me over the edge.

A few days at home has given me time for reflection, I need to put into practice what I know. I’ve done many personal development courses, and studied Nutritional Healing, and met some amazing people. And still my life, and body, is not what I want.

Time for change.

After a few false starts I have started a detox programme, really simple, drink a herbal tea which cleanses by eliminating toxins and boosting the immune systems with organic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. A great side effect is weight loss. Winner Winner. Can I do it?

Wish me well x

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in breast cancer, depression, detox, gratitude, inflammatory breast cancer, manchester, weight loss | 2 Comments

Dinos ‘Don’t Quite’ Soar at Jurassic Kingdom …

Source: Dinos ‘Don’t Quite’ Soar at Jurassic Kingdom …

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Rio Ferdinand’s Mother, Janice St Fort, Dies Following Cancer Battle

Such sad news, thinking of Rio Ferdinand and his beautiful children, truly heartbreaking, just two years after his wife died. IFHC

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As Trump Declares War on the World it’s Left to Obama to provide some Class

On a day when billions of people around the world pinched themselves, took a deep breath- and possibly a shot of vodka- and came to terms with the realisation that Donald Trump now has the nuclear …

Source: As Trump Declares War on the World it’s Left to Obama to provide some Class

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Legends of Rock

Metal Fatigue

4 Days

50 Bands

No Sleep

100’s of friends

Innumerable memories

(and a few embarrassing pics :-p)

Thanks to all involved

If you missed it… book for next year and see what you are missing

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