Posted in General Ramblings

Check your Chest

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Breast cancer is not exclusive to women.

Everyone should check their chest and I have posted a brilliant video showing you how.

Checking once a month will give you a guide to your ‘normal’.

Once you know your normal it will be easier to detect changes.

If you feel anything you are not sure of GET IT CHECKED OUT. No doctor, health visitor, nurse or medical professional will turn you away, make you feel small or stupid.

If it doesn’t feel right, keep asking questions until you’re completely satisfied with the answers.

Nothing, nothing is more important than your health.

Posted in General Ramblings

One Year On..

My hair is growing back, albeit with chemo curls!

I’m still here

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find enough words of gratitude or show how utterly thankful I am that one year on from being told I had breast cancer that I’m still here, with the people I love, living the life I thought had been snatched away from me.

I don’t tend to live or dwell on the past but today I have read my early posts on this site and it brings back the fear I felt, how terrified I was of what the future held. It’s been the hardest 12 months of not just my life but for those around me as well, and I am truly blessed to be on the other side, looking back.

So what next?

I’m still having hormone treatment and dealing menopause symptoms, namely joint pain and I have developed neuropathy in my feet which they think is delayed onset from the chemotherapy. It’s painful but I’m not letting it stop me from my recovery path.

I started attending a yoga class but I don’t think my body is quite ready for it yet. I think overall conditioning is better for me so I’m starting swimming again, along with daily walks x 2 of up to 30 minutes each time.

I am in some pain constantly thanks to the neuropathy and good old Fibromyalgia and I feel I really need to get a handle on that. I do believe that we can reprogram the brain and reset the nervous system (both of which is where some pain stems from, trying to keep us safe when our brain believes we’re in danger when we actually aren’t) It’s like an automatic fight or flight mode. I’ve been reading a lo about holistic therapy as I would prefer a more natural path through recovery – I think my body has been through enough! I recently had a Shiatsu massage for the first time. The experience was incredible. It felt as though I’d spent 4 weeks in the sunshine, laid on a sun lounger, doing nothing but sleep! My pain was relieved (albeit temporarily) and I felt ‘normal’ for the first time in a very long time. It’s now in my calendar for the next 4 months as a non-negotiable self-care day! I’m also having reflexology to help with the neuropathic pain in my feet, which at times can see me walking like a pantomime villain (much to my husbands amusement!) and that also is really helping.

I’m also changing my/our eating habits. Of course, there are bigger things in life than worrying about weight, so it’s not a ‘loose weight’ diet (though that will help), it’s more of an anti inflammatory, Mediterranean diet with lots of fresh fish, vegetables and healthy fats.

Most of all, most importantly of all – I’m back to my writing life which feels incredible. Monday – Thursday I am in my Shed of Words working on getting Book 3 finished, starting the outline for Book 4 and I’ve also created a potential new series of books in the ‘cosy crime’ genre! It’s soooo good to have a clear head and the time to just let ideas just run away with themselves.

I am super excited for the future

I’ve booked onto to a few book events too. Theakston Crime Festival in Harrogate next weekend, Bloody Scotland in September, Capital Crime in October and in December I’m stepping up my own PR game as I prepare for the launch of Book 3 – When We Deceive.

I’ve been lucky enough to have one fabulous holiday with the husband in Kefalonia this year which we were both in desperate need of, and in a couple of weeks we’re heading to the South of France with his two teenage daughters for a couple of weeks (heaven help us! I’m taking my laptop & earphones!!).

Still I Rise

The words of the Maya Angelou poem have stayed with me, and never seem more appropriate than they do today. I know the origins of the poem relate to a very different time and theme but just those words, And Still I Rise are so powerful and embody everything that life has thrown at me. I’ve used it as a mantra through treatment, after every session as I left the hospital and every morning I wake up with renewed vigour for life.

All is well, and still I rise.

Thank you for reading, I will still keep writing this blog as I have found it useful to have somewhere personal to go so stick around and see what happens next!

Cat xx