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Hair Loss 😢

It’s the one thing I am really struggling to get my head around. I’m not sure why, it’s not like I have luscious long flowing locks. Nope, had a pixie cut for years because my hair is so fine it’s impossible to have it in any other style. But this has been really bothering me.

I want to embrace it, waltz into the hairdressers (Scott Banks, Wakefield highly recommend!) and ‘do a Brittany’ but it’s so hard. It’s part of my identity isn’t it? It’s how people recognise you.

Anyway, was texting with the boy about it and I received this message back ❤️ I mean 🥲 how bloody lucky am I?

❤️❤️❤️

I know how it will go. I’ll turn to the Universe for guidance and it will be ‘Go all in, throw a party, take your gang and go wig shopping then have a slap up lunch somewhere really posh with cocktails and the works’.

Hmmm 🤔 maybe, watch this space cos I’ll need to act fast, first chemo session is in 17 days!

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Was it me?

Was it something I did? Did I party too hard when I was younger? Did I drink too much? Did I smoke too much? Did I not exercise enough? Eat enough healthy food? Sunbathe too much?

Was I a bad MoFo in another life?

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Mind…… blown 🤯

Information overload at today’s oncology appointment. We we’re going through treatment plans but wow – I’m going to need a week or two to digest everything and read all the information I was given!

So 19 lymph nodes were removed, 6 were cancerous.

It’s no longer a grade 1 but now a grade 2.

I’ll need 6 months of chemo in 3 week cycles, starting 18th October. I will lose my hair.

I’ll need 4 weeks for radiotherapy x 5 days a week.

I’ll need some kind of hormone treatment as I’m pre menopausal & chemo will push me through the menopause.

It’s going to be a long, harsh winter I feel 😢

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#2 Rogue Lymph Node Removal

I mean, it was to be expected really because, well it’s me after all.

I’ve lost count of the number of ear operations I’ve had because the first one didn’t work. Didn’t think it would apply to boobs too!

It’s quite a lucky op to be honest. A couple of weeks after ‘the big one’ I found what I thought was another new lump and it was whilst this was being investigated that they found the ‘rogue’ lymph node so thank goodness I got it checked out.

So once this op is over and I’ve recovered we’ll be on to CT scans on Monday 4th October and I already have my date to start chemotherapy but more about that in another post, right now I’m needed for surgery!

Cat x

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Meditation

Ah, what a start to a morning. I just did the most wonderful meditation and my guides of the highest truth & compassion reached out to let me know that everything is going to be ok. I’m going to be fine. Cancer is not going to kill me. It’s not going to take me too soon. I have books to write, my place in the world to reclaim. I am going to be fine. All is well x

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Reasons to live

(Ramblings in the early hours when sleep escapes me & thoughts run wild…)

My son

I love him beyond measure, with no limits & it’s boundless. I look at him and sometimes it physically hurts.

My Husband

When all this started I said I couldn’t leave him on his own as he’s a liability. He can cook up a storm, and I swear he invented the internet but ask him to knock a nail in the wall and you’ll be left minus the wall.

If he’s my inhale, I’m his exhale and one without the other doesn’t work.

We saved each other once, and I swore in front of an anvil to love him for the rest of our lives and we have so much more loving to do.

My dad

He didn’t raise a quitter. He raised a stubborn, fiercely independent woman who doesn’t quit just because it gets tough sometimes.

For these reasons alone, I will not quit.

Catherine Yaffe, Sept 2021

I have stories to tell

So many stories. Not just crime but life stories, children’s books, poems, lessons to pass on. Writing is who I am, not what I do.

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Well, that didn’t go to plan. . .

Results Day, Friday 17th September 2021

I don’t really know what I expected to be told on Friday. I think I thought they would say, it’s all gone, a couple of shots of radiotherapy then you can get on with your life – you’ll have beaten cancer. They did tell me that the margins around Lenny the Lump were clear and that they’d removed 16 lymph nodes, 6 of which had cancer in them, so that’s good, right?

I should have told the surgeon to stop talking right there because what came next was a shocker.

I didn’t expect to be told I needed another operation to remove a further ‘rogue’ lymph node, which is separate from the ones they’d taken from under my arm and is cancerous.

This will then be followed by 6 months of chemotherapy, in 4 – 5 week cycles.

A further 4 weeks Radiotherapy plus CT & bone scans throughout to make sure it isn’t spreading.

All of the above depends on the results of an initial CT scan and bone scan which should take place this week.

All in all, I’m looking at 12 – 18 months of treatment.

I have a further appointment on Thursday with the oncology team as well having to self isolate ahead of a Covid test on Monday, ready for the operation next Wednesday.

I’ve taken time over the weekend to let it all sink in, but honestly I’m not sure it ever will. It’s a lot, right? It’s not a blip, a something to worry about later kind of thing?

Just don’t ask me how I feel because I honestly couldn’t tell you. I really don’t know. I’m not upset (I don’t think) and I am the kind of person that ‘just gets on with it’ so for now, for today that’s my attitude. Let’s get on with it. Let’s do this. Let’s beat this motherfucker and kick it’s ass to the kerb.

Yeah, that’s how I feel today.

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You’ve Got This – a rant

Why this & other similar bullshit should be banned

I’m not going to lie, I’ve used this countless times. I may as well have had it tattooed on my bloody forehead at one point. It’s not until it’s been said to you no less than 100 times a day that I realised what a patronising, bullshit thing to say.

No, I fucking haven’t..

I wonder what people would say if I turned round to them and said that?

I get it. It’s a failsafe thing to say when, well you haven’t got anything else to say. I know it’s said with the best intention. I know it comes for a good place. I know it means people care. Yes, yes, yes I get all that…. but seriously, what if I haven’t got this? What if shit is so fucking bad, I haven’t ‘got’ anything at all other than a shitload on my plate and no idea how to move forward?

Have you any idea how much pressure that phrase carries?

Don’t get me wrong, most days, I have ‘got this’. Most days I have a handle on everything, but there are days when I’ve got fuck all but a sofa underneath me and Homes Under The Hammer on the TV.

Thing is, you can’t tell people not to say to you without coming across as a real ungrateful bitch. I just smile politely, or send a love heart emoji in reply whilst simultaneously thanking (cursing) the person. It’s not their fault after all, they do mean well, their intention is well-intended but I’d rather they turned round and said..

Fuck me, how the hell are you going to deal with that?

What a bag of bollocks that is, can I make you a brew?

Don’t know what to say love, let’s go smash something to bits.

Honesty is what I need in my life right now. Honesty with a pinch of humour. If you have said it to me, I thank you – I genuinely do. I’m flattered that you care, I worry that you’re worried. I understand that it’s hard to know what to say when someone hits you with devastating news, but please, for the love of the Universe, don’t tell me I’ve got this! Tell me I’m one unlucky bitch, tell me that I’ve been dealt a really shitty hand, tell me that you won’t laugh when I lose all my hair or that you’ll come wig shopping with me. Just don’t tell me I’ve got this!