Over the last few months I’ve hit a few turning points in my hot mess of a colourful life , these turning points two years ago are moments I would have deemed insignificant or probably not even noticed and I’m pretty greatful i do notice, I really take it all in now , the first moment I had I was just at home with my one man house destroying , poo exploding pint size dictator known as Blake and I was teaching him to twirl , I was twirling , Blake was twirling , chilli was unwillingly twirling in blakes Vegemite covered fingers and I was happy .. I was really , really happy , you know that true happiness feeling? The one where everything just feels right again , I spent that moment just laughing with my son and of course I cried , cause well that’s what semi crazy , semi hormonal people do you know haha , I just hadn’t felt that for a long time , it’s hard to feel happy when your mentally protecting yourself from the “what ifs” .. what if it comes back ? I needed to be mentally beaten down to go through that again, you don’t want to go back up again because it’s a long way down I’ll tell you that now. I wasn’t going to set myself up for the fall. I’ve really started to trust this wobbly , chubby body again ( not wobbly for long, no judgement 😂) let’s face it this body is pretty amazing for what it’s been through and that’s major for me . The next turning point seems even smaller but it was when I went to swim squad the other night.. now firstly I hate wearing swimmers , I’ve gained a lot of weight and I haven’t swam since junior school , I get there and of course everyone’s fit because well your not going in a squad that swims 2-3km on average and not be into it. So my butt holes puckering and I’m mentally scouting out all the emergency exits .. and I think to myself ..yes I’m way out of my comfort zone and it’s intimidating but that’s good , push yourself what do you have to lose? Well other then hair shine and fat cells woo , I got in the pool , I swam 2km and I kept up and I felt proud of me I was really proud of me . Less then 7 months ago I had a tube hanging out my arm and my immune system and blood counts were so low walking through someone’s fart could have landed me in the emergency room . And I’m here at this gym
Every day, and I just swam 2km and I’ve never swam . What else can I do? I can’t wait to really start pushing myself and getting out of my comfort zone , good things things happen when your take risks. You know when I finished chemo, and let’s face it I was a fucking hot mess, god dam I mean I’ve always been a hot mess but this was Amy shcheimer on the movie train wreck hot mess , people would say you have changed ..and I used to feel ashamed . Do I now? Not really, because life is change ! If your not changing and growing what’s the point? Change is good , it’s necessary to better yourself , to know what you want . Change is shittty and hard and can fuck off at times but it’s life , life’s hard ,if you can’t adapt to change and I can and I do and I’m now proud of that . I guess the biggest turning point is I’m starting to just really be happy and be me . And Im starting to like me again . Let’s face it you need to like yourself, as your kind of stuck with you…
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Sometimes I wish I knew before I went into remmision how fucking hard it would be , I swear not even dr phill could save me some days Haha. remmision is a different phase in this journey but is very much in ways as hard as diagnosis and treatment . Change is hard in any stage of life and I feel like there’s just so much change at times for me it overwhelms me . I’ve always treated this experience as a huge blessing and wake up call and most days I’m very positive about it and I feel like there’s so much I can give in this world , but who ever said change is as good as a holiday is a liar . Now as many as my friends would know motherhood changes you completely , it’s not about you anymore , you go from me,me,me to being selfless And never thinking about yourself. When I had Blake the first thing that came with Blake was he was the reason I walked this earth , the reason to live, the reason to fight, I can’t think of one thing I wouldn’t do for him . The second thing that came with Blake was guilt, oh the guilt , is there something wrong? What if the medications I took harmed him ? the stress , the vomiting , the chemo , the radiation from the scans …what if? It would be all my fault .. what if I die Blake won’t have a Mum .. would mark replace me ? Would he love them? Would he remember me ? then the thoughts about Blake came ..I don’t want him to go through what I had , having cancer opened my eyes and I’ve had to digest a lot of thoughts Id never thought about before . My mortality , one day losing the people I love . I don’t want my son to suffer , to feel pain , to lose people , to have his heart broken but I know he will and that’s life and he needs to experience that . Motherhood changes you but I find that you relate to other mothers and they relate to you because they get it! You make friends with other people with kids and you find that you have less in common with people who are single with no children as you are on a different path , there’s mummy groups and play groups , people get you gain weight or how hard the lack of sleep and whinging is ..it’s like a cool little club . The thing is cancer is very much the same as motherhood in the way that it changes you, however it is one of the most lonely, isolating and mentally challenging things I’ve ever done . Usually in life you grow and evolve slowly , probably so slowly that you don’t even notice, but then you think back to when you were 18 and you think gosh How did I like that , or think that way / do that ect . Having HG , Becoming a Mum and facing cancer and PTSD at the same time is kind of like going from a 18 year old to 30 year old in 3 months.. my thoughts, feelings , outlook , priorities , personality everything has changed ! I’ve grown and evolved but where does that leave people in my life? Relationship dynamics change when you do , you lose friends you gain friends but it’s painful .. my body and my mind changed and I look at myself with both admiration and complete disgust , some days I think I have wisdom and a way of looking at the world that most people don’t have and never will and other days I’m a agitated angry mess and can’t function.. it’s hard to accept so much at once and sometimes I really crave and miss the old me , the carefree me , the me that doesn’t have to worry about the long term effects of such toxic chemicals touching my organs , the chemical imbalances , the checkups , the scans the me who always just dreamed about having lots of kids . Will I be able to have more kids? Will it be so hard? I look at newborns and I get really sad to think maybe that will never be me ? Will I be a mummy again ? Can I have kids? There’s just so many questions I can’t answer . No one can .. Will my cancer come back? If it does what does that mean for me ? What does that mean for mark ? Blake ? My family ? I get overwhelmed that I’ve had to share my experience of motherhood with cancer and remmision and trying to navigate through this stage of acceptance . Accepting who I am now and others accepting me as I am now . I’m getting there . Please if you know anyone going through cancer know that the aftermath is as hard as treatment . Please don’t abandon them . They really need you .
To my dearest Blake . From the moment you were born I promised you that I’d do anything to watch you grow and that’ll never change , there is no mountain I wouldn’t move to be with you . I promise to love and support you no matter what and who the boy and man you become . Whether you find the right or wrong Path in life I’ll love you and support you always . Im so sorry Blake for the first few months of your life mummy couldn’t be the best mum I could have been I was Afraid . I’m sorry I don’t remember the first six months of your life mummy lost a lot of memories during that time. I’m sorry you saw me cry and your mummy and daddy fight sometimes because we were stressed . I’m so sorry you saw mummy sick and I hope everyday you don’t remember you were so little. You have no idea my darling how much you have made this world a brighter place for me and your daddy . This year has been the best year of my life because of you , You have made me a better person . I spend every day making sure we make great memories together and watching you grow is the best thing I’ve ever experienced your the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I’m so glad we have done this together.
Who am I now ?I’m definitely getting to know myself now a lot better . I’m a stronger person that’s for sure . I’m definitely more authentic to who I am now , not to say I wasn’t before but I was scared of being judged or people not liking me, I never wanted to hurt people’s feelings or offend them ,sometimes at a great expense of myself and to my happiness . People walked all over me but it didn’t bother me before, it does now.. I’m still me but before I was kind of like a sugar coated version of me it’s similar but different , I can’t handle petty or stupid things anymore.. I feel like if your happy and healthy that’s the jackpot right there , I can’t handle people thinking they know better for others, everyone’s dealing with things you don’t know about, I get that and I support you, hey you want to do some weird shit with your kid because you feel it’s right.. I feel you sister, amen and preach haha I’m the weirdest motherfucker out always have been, I’m full blown tree hugging hippy, I quite possibly love my dog more then most people, I’m spiritual and I see tarot card readers twice a year I embrace my weirdness ! You know what I love being weird ..I drop vitamin c like smarties I have a dream catcher in my room and that shit helps me sleep like a baby .. someone thought it was weird I gave my kid cod liver oil and probiotics I think it’s weird as fuck you give your kid Coke and force them to play sports they hate but hey that’s me and I agree to disagree because your doing your best and I’m doing mine . This morning I got up at 530am to go to the gym because I can and that’s a privilege , I take pride in that I go 6 days a week and I celebrate what my body can do for me . I mean I need to drop weight but my bodies a full blown ledge the shit it’s put up with for me and I’m greatful for that and now my health is one of my top priorities . I love a clean house but when I was pregnant I pushed myself to the absolute brink to keep that house spotless and I’ve learnt from that mistake, I carried a bucket around and vomited and cried scrubbing a bathroom floor on my knees for what ??for who?? To impress who?fuck that now ! sure the house was cleaned today actually but If it’s a bomb tomorrow so be it , because you know what I’m doing instead of cleaning I’m spending every minute with my boy . We are at the park we are out and about somewhere . I’m with my best mate in the whole wide world and life gets no better then that , and honestly nothing is worth giving up that time and I mean nothing , No clean house , no amount of money, nothing ..because time is priceless and none of us know quite how much time we have in this life and when that day comes your not going to be lying on that bed going geez I wish I spent more time worrying what that person who hated me thought , geez I wish the house was clean or I had more money … no point being the richest person in the cemetery hey I just want to Live now enjoy and embrace every second with what and who matters that’s who I am today.
Remission at first is one of those really weird times where you don’t know if your super happy , super sad or super fucked up or just kind all three at once , when I went into remission every inch of me ached and cracked , I’d gained over 20kg , my hair was hanging on for dear life as was my limited sanity not that I had much to begin with so I shouldn’t blame cancer for that one , I had a baby so I was a new mum and my boobies were now known thanks to marks friend Dom as “sausage titties ” like seriously what the fuck just happened to my life ?? And what the fuck happened to my body?? Everyone’s rejoicing and patting me on the back saying how lucky I am and I legitimately feel like I’ve just been beaten to an inch of my life my a gang of twelvies. The day I was told I was in remission.. well actually I kind of already knew I was in remission because I took it apon myself to open the perfectly sealed envelope with the “do not open” stamped two dozen times over it just to have a quick peak , I then declared to myself that I’m cancer free thanks to all my creditdentals , in my defence it was pretty easy to see that there now was not a almost ten cm softball tumour taking up half my chest so it wasn’t too hard. So I get to my doctors office and my doctor is named doctor taper , I have so much respect and admiration for this doctor . He is a man of few words but if he’s talking you better listen up because it’s important . He’s eccentric , he’s out there and he’s a dam near genius . He never told me more then what I needed to know and he was always saying “your fine” he gave me confidence I trusted him , this was someone I essentially had to trust with my life so I needed to know two things 1. I could trust this person with my life and life of my sons mother and 2. he cared what happened to me. These two qualities this doctor definitely gave me so I trusted him with my life and I guess it helped he was a genius . When I walked in that day my ass cheeks didn’t even touch the chair when he looked me square in the eye and said ” scans looked good” and “your fine” which meant I was cancer free, that was it .. I don’t know what I was expecting but I was kind of hoping confetti would rain down from the ceiling and the guy from the price was right would be saying cooooome on down Ashley while all the nurses chant ” your in remission” while I wave a flag of joy but it was strangely clinical …it was one of the best and most surreal days of my life . Here to live another day .
So this goes out to all the people in my life ! Now I have a lot of nice people in my life who are wonderful people but this is about the ride or die bitches in my life 🤘 the people who would roll their eyes when I was losing my freaking mind but would never judge and always listened even if was an anxiety induced, snot crying babble that made no sense . I’ve come to realise just because you know someone for x amount of years it does not mean they are a better friend , I’ve met some beautiful people especially mum friends over the last couple of months whom I’ve become really close with . My mum friends acted like having a 2litre bottle of hand sanitizer on the table at coffee play dates was normal , or the fact I had a tube hanging out my arm was sooo not noticeable ( liars) or the understanding that if their baby or Blake had a runny nose we were to leave them in the car with a bottle of water in the opposite way the wind was blowing ..window cracked of course. My mum and dad were also known as human punching bags for a little while there (sorry ) my family were always there for me and when I say family that includes marks family because well I’ve just kind of latched on like a leech there and like they say you can’t choose your family ..well I did , thug life haha..to all my friends and family thank you . But there’s a few special shout outs I want to make , firstly a lady she’ll know who she is ..when I had certain appointments would look after Blake when no one else could , lifesaver ! I couldn’t have done it without her . She was amazing . Gen , now Gen is the friend you want to be your friend because she’s such a good friend . In all honesty how we are friends I don’t know , I just so happen to be the most naturally unthoughtful person you can meet , I’m always late and I’m just generally a full blown mess you know ? I’ve accepted and embraced these unfortunate characteristics of myself however Gens the type of friend who’s baking you a two tier cake at 1am with a thoughtful card and a surprise party , I’m the type of person who buys a $4 Woolworths mud cake pretending I baked it .. I’m the type of person that facebook reminds of birthdays , Ill probably turn up uninvited to your house eat all your food in your fridge watch a movie and not leave and oh yer I don’t get subtle hints. Gen is a ride or die friend she has the biggest heart and is the first person to help anyone in need, she would give you the shirt off her back and she’s been through thick and thin and I mean thick with me ..I don’t know why that line sounds dirty but it does haha anywhooo moving on ..Lucy now I met Lucy in London we lived together and then we traveled nz together and she’s now in Nz with her beautiful husband and two gorgeous girls now . Lucy and I have been friends for years but we find it hard to see each other because , well life I guess. but that never makes our friendship lessen . Lucy always makes sure I know she cares and she’s there for me even if I forget the 100 Skype dates we set up , Lucy is such a beautiful person inside and out ..now this last person I want to mention is a very special person to me .. Amy , now Amy is my soul sister, I feel like she’s my Siemese twin and we were separated at birth , explains my half a brain right? I think so . I met Amy on a lymphoma facebook page she was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma with a newborn and also a threenager (three year old) the same time I was . From the moment we spoke we became friends and I clung to Amy like tom hanks clung to Wilson on castaway but without the creepy blood face . To say I could not have done the last year without Amy is pretty dam close to the truth . Amy knows everything about me the good the bad and the dam right ugly . We have laughed together we are always laughing together she’s such a bloody crackup we have cried together and we had anxiety/steroid binged eaten together and now unfortunately we are dieting on carrot sticks and extreme excersising together 😂Amy will be forever one of my closest , dearest friends , she really gets me the only person who truly,truly gets me.
I’ve learnt so much over the last year that I would never take back. It’s funny you know if you asked me if I could take back the last few years back I would say no and I would never have thought I’d say that when I was going through it . The last two years have been the hardest two years of my life but what I’ll take away is worth it. I’ve learnt to live in the moment , to never take things for granted and one of the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that showing and feeling emotions is a good thing . Oh cringe the feelings haha, Now I don’t recommend dr googling , howling like a wounded animal in the shower and anxiety binge eating like myself or the fact I would rock in a corner when someone coughed or sneezed 3 blocks away but Feeling sad and down is a healthy normal response to a hard time, it really is I mean wallowing and becoming a victim is not but really feeling what you need , accepting it and moving on can be so liberating and healing. Over my life if I felt sad, down or scared I’d feel weak and I’d tell myself to suck it up, I’d hide how I felt from people in the fear they would see me as weak and judge me . When I first would tell people about how I felt during the process I heard alot of people tell me to be “positive” they would always cut me off and say stay “positive ” now I believe whole heartedly in staying positive but sometimes what your talking about is the cold hard facts or your day is just shit and you can’t dress up a shit and you just want someone to say it’s ok this is shit but I’m listening .i hope someone reads this and I want them to know that’s it’s ok to feel sad , it’s ok to be scared it’s ok to be you , It’s all going to be ok.
I was iffy whether I wanted to share this about myself just because it’s pretty fresh but I’m really coming out the other side now so I will. when I finished chemo and was told I was in remission it was a huge relief for myself and my family, the first time mark and I saw the scans we cried and hugged for about ten minutes it was probably the best thing I’ve ever heard In my life , strangely when I was told I had cancer and when I was told I was in remission the song horses was playing both times , I don’t know who was sending us a message but we heard it loud and clear. When you hear the word remission you think that life will resume as normal you really do . The thing is, remission is one of the hardest times , your really left with what just happened ? And who am I now ? I was exhausted in every sense of every part of my body and mind . My views on life and my priorities had completely changed I was a new mum , I was a survivor there was no rest for my mind nor my body I knew that my baby needed me but who am I right now ? and living life as normal just isn’t what it’s like for a little while. It was probably about a month after chemo I started to think something was really wrong with me ..before an appointment I wouldn’t sleep for weeks , I would have night mares I was constantly on edge and feeling and always looking for danger , I was jumpy with sounds and too many people at once would overwhelm me . There were times when I would get these unimaginable moments of pure fear and it would just take over everything , it was usually around sick people , hospitals or chemical smells. Now when I was pregnant chemical smells really affected me if mark would spray deodorant or use the woolies body wash I may as well write that day off. There were days when I spent up to 6-8 hours on the bathroom floor vomiting until there was nothing left , dry reaching until I was in awful amount of pain until I was vomiting blood for hours I would eventually just curl up and cry and just prayed it stopped . The vomiting wasn’t even the worst part it was by far the relentless nausea I really don’t think I slept for 9 months I couldn’t sleep through the nausea, by 28 weeks the doctor prescribed me phenergan as she was concerned about the lack of sleep, that probably was the only night I got more then a few hours . I refused to take phernergan as much as I needed too because it was a class c drug which meant it really isn’t safe in pregnancy I mean I was taking stemital and 4 zofrans a day, I couldn’t hold any fluid down for almost 7 months other then coke or apple juice , no matter what I did I couldn’t keep water down, I was vomiting blood how could this baby survive ??? they thought I had a blood clot in my lungs at one stage but it ended up being burst vessels in my lungs from the force of the vomiting . I grew terrified of chemicals because I couldn’t control the vomiting . I guess It’s really not hard to see why I got cancer around 8 months pregnant Hyperemesis is like no other beast. My second brush with chemicals was chemo , when you have chemo you can smell it , you can taste it oh god the taste wow I can’t even explain to you the taste and how much your body rejects chemotherapy . So about a month after being told I was in remission strange things started to happen mark would spray spray and wipe and looking back now I was having panic attacks I would freeze , my chest would get tight and it was pure fear . I didn’t understand what was happening to me . I couldn’t leave Blake without panic attacks and awful thoughts as my biggest fear was him not having a mum ,People would have colds and I was terrified of them being around Blake and around me . The one thing that terrified me the most was Blake suffering and I would do anything to protect him. Logically I knew that a cold was ok but this fear would take over , the fear .. u could taste chemo , I felt like I had chemo . If I got nausea I would have panic attacks I was freaking out, I had no idea what the fuck was happening to me ..it consumed me . Once I was told what I was experiencing and how to help it , it was a huge relief . I was told to talk about it as much as I could anyway I could , that’s why I started blogging . Things started to get better quickly and I knew it would get better and it has . I feel like me again , I really lost who I was for a bit there , I missed me, I missed happiness I’m at a really good place right now .
Now this blog is going to really reveal what’s going on in this peanut size brain of mine haha one of the most difficult things i have found over the past few months is being misunderstood through a tough time , now this could be relevant to anyone because let me tell you everyone’s got their shit . When I go through a tough patch I like to be by myself and Reflect on my life and the people in it , I don’t like to deal with people because I can’t hide things and I can’t fake it , what ever thought or feeling I am feeling at that time whether good or bad is what you are going to get from me that’s who i am and that’s who I’ve always been. Over the past few months I’ve been different and probably not a good representation of who I am as a person, generally I did what I needed to do to be ok , but I will tell you something , I am proud ..I’ve accepted more at 27 then a lot of people will most of their life , I’ve accepted death , I’ve accepted massive blows in self esteem,I’ve accepted pain, suffering and sickness i faced depression and anxiety and I’ve have crawled my way out of a fucking black hole many of times over this year, I’ve hit dam near rock bottom and like drake says started from the bottom and now we’re here and you know what? I would never take a second of that back because I know I’m growing and learning from every second and this will make me better, happier and it will make me stronger . I’ve been dealt some cards and I know I’ve played the shit out of that deck and I’m at a point in my life where I’m probably the most fearless I’ve ever been, I’m not scared of what people think , I’m not scared of being judged , I’m not scared of taking risks , I’m not scared of losing friends . I will tell you what I am scared of . I’m scared of regret , regret of not doing , saying or being exactly who and what I want to be in this life , I’m scared of not taking the job I want to take , not moving to where I want to live and not being who I want to be . I am proud of how I carried myself through the last two years , I’m proud of who I was , I’m proud of who I am today and I’m proud of who I’ll be tomorrow .i stand today overweight, covered in scars with stretch marks on my belly , a tuff of hair and a fat ass and you know what ? I’m proud , weight can be lost , scars can fade and hair can be regrown but nothing can change who I am. The thing I’m most proud about is that I’m a dam good mum today and I will be Always and if I this was the only thing in life i did right , I am so ok with that .
Before I had cancer I had never heard of a pet scan . What is a PET scan? Does it involves goats ? If the answer is no , I Am not interested … unfortunately I didn’t have a choice because I have a softball tumour in my chest, awkward …anywhooo A pet scan is a scan in which cancer patients do to see Where the active cancer is in their body , if you do have cancer basically the scan lights up like a Christmas tree but without the fun and presents , I did however have a Christmas tree fall on me and pin me for half an hour when I little so I had some bad experiences there to begin with . A PET scan is highly toxic , very expensive and fucking shit scary !!! So let me give you a run down of this shit show known as a pet scan . Firstly , you can’t wear any metal so basically there goes me trying to calm my tits before the scan just not happening without underwire… so you go to the nuclear medicine section and let’s just stop right here, how do those two words even go together “nuclear medicine” haha pretty ironic and possibly the first day I declared chemical warefare on my body . You get in there and obviously I’m staying “strong” and by that I mean peeing like a race horse and been scraped off my partner the same way a 5 year old does at their first day of kindy , they take you away and they put a drip in your arm, not too bad so far right… they then put you in a fucking bomb shelter I’m not even joking the door is probably three metres thick and once they start they hand you every thing through a hole in the wall including what ever radioactive substance they are injecting you with known as a radioactive isotope, basically radioactive sugar because the cancer cells eat and feed off sugar and that’s what lights up the pet scan . Someone out there has just put down their doughnut , yer I know I feel you on that . You then wait 2 hours because ain’t nobody coming near your radioactive ass and when they do they put you in a massive ct scan looking machine . Let me tell you by this stage your anxiety is a 15 out of ten and all those cancers you have diagnosed your self through Wikipedia are now kicking your ass mentally . So basically the lack of oxygen from this stage makes things blurry but I emerge 30 minutes later looking like mister burns when he goes radioactive on the Simpsons , you come out and you know what happens then ? More dam googling and diagnosing your declining fate because they give you the scans . Back to google is not your friend . And that my friends is a pet scan .