I have been asked by so many people why I haven't been blogging recently. The answer is that I really didn't have anything more to say on my cancer 'journey'...but guess what I do!
A year to the day after my diagnosis, another close friend has
been given the news that she too has breast cancer. Of my 'circle of strength' (so called by The Daily Mail article) that's now 3/6 of us. This is an epidemic. I can't possibly assume that I know the reason why but there is one thing that links us all - stress
and impossibly stressful careers. In my case I produce too much adrenaline and cortisol and this seems to translate in my body into fibroids and clearly some of them went rogue. I also explain away my weight issues with adrenaline - blood sugar problem. Given
the bad press sugar has had recently I can see the results in my body. (I don't gorge on chocolate or ice cream but I do love wine, which is where I get a lot of my sugar from). According to the the BMI scale I am clinically obese. I can give myself a little
comfort in that Greg is also obese according to the scale. Those of you who know him, know that he hasn't an ounce of excess flesh on his body, but his waist height weight ratio put him in that category so clearly it is not a great way to measure obesity.
A few years ago I was travelling through Colombo airport en route from Sri Lanka (where Vincenzo and I had gone on a SAGA holiday....I celebrated my birthday there and for the first time in a long time I felt very young, practically a teenager, when I turned
48 as the average age of the group, excluding Vinne and myself was 76)...anyway I was going to Mumbai and the planes between these troubled neighbours leave at 3am. I don't know about you but I ALWAYS look my best at 3am in strip neon airport lighting. I handed
my passport over to a portly customs man who looked at the photo and then looked at me : 'You have gotten very fat' he said. Understandably I was taken aback by this...'that's very rude' I said hoping I didn't end up in a jail in Sri Lanka. 'I am just telling
you how I see it' he said. 'In your photo you look slim and now you are fat'. Jeepers. I can't even get away with it at passport control.
So in an effort to shift my cancer weight I have been attempting exercise. Shock horror. I was impeded by adhesive
capulitis which is a frozen shoulder and had a steroid injection into the muscle and can now almost do a full salute with my left arm. Philippa paid for me to have one on one yoga sessions with an amazing woman called Abi who is without doubt the best teacher
I have ever had. She is also helping my friend recently diagnosed and now on her chemo nightmare. It is definitely helping although the steroid enhanced left arm now makes me look like a lopsided Popeye.
Talking of amazing yoga teachers I learned last
night of the death from breast cancer of another phenomenal woman who has taught my family yoga for decades. She was a strong and extraordinary woman who was diagnosed ten years ago. She elected to treat the disease in a very different way to me. Using a combination
of ground breaking injections and homeopathy with limited surgery. For a decade she was healthy and then the bloody thing returned with a vengeance 6 months ago. I admired her totally for her commitment to non traditional cancer treatment and although I would
not have chosen her path we were all 100% supportive. She died earlier this week at such a young age. The papers always say that 'so and so lost their courageous battle with cancer' when they die from this pernicious disease and all through out my treatment
I never regarded it as battle, I always felt it was more like a surrender and I had given my body over to medical science. But for her it was and although she lost that battle she fought in her own way. I am immensely proud and privileged to have known
Since finishing in January I have been a bit at sea. Literally and figuratively. Figuratively - I went through withdrawal. I had been the centre of so much attention and activity and during radiotherapy had been in the hospital everyday. Suddenly
I was cut loose and told ' see you in October'. Abandoned. No scroll or parchment to say I had passed the test or even some kind of medal. Just told to go home and get better.
My energy levels were very poor through February, March and the hospital
offered me complimentary treatments at the Homeopathic hospital and counselling. They have both been marvellously helpful, especially the psychiatry. I had my first session the day my friend was diagnosed by the same team who looked after me. To say I was
cross about her is an understatement I was livid. I honestly assumed in my usual panegyric way that because I had been through cancer no one else close to me should have to go through it. I was fulfilling the statistics. Guess what like most things in my life
I was wrong. It doesnt work like that. So seeing the shrink has been very helpful and by May I was feeling rumbustious & back to my old self.
My hair is growing well and I have even had a hair cut and I am still lacking in the body hair department
with thin eyebrows and short stumpy eyelashes. So I can't be up to date with Cara Devigne style bushy eyebrows but I have rediscovered my love of fake eyelashes - or rather eyelash extensions. I have even introduced them to other friends.
And now to
the literal being at sea. Sabrina who lives in LA quite rightly decided to celebrate her birthday with a fabulous holiday, coming to London first and then flying me out to Nice to join her and some goregous friends for a few days on a luxury yacht going round
the Cote D'Azur and then some time in St Tropez. It is ironic that I am completely broke and yet holiday in great style. I am so lucky to have such generous friends. It was a fabulous time and even though I had only been away 4 days it felt like two weeks,
we packed so much into our time.
I would like to do a sponsored walk for Cancer Research in Sept - its called Shine walk, as it takes place during the night around the illuminated landmarks of London. I will post on FB the details should anyone
want to sponsor me - or come and join. The more the merrier. I will walk in memory of all those amazing people I have known killed by cancer and of course in the hope that money raised will stem the tide.