Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The end of 2010...

Where have the last 5 months gone?!

I can not believe we are three days from Christmas after what has been the most turbulent year of my life! At one point I didn't know if I would be seeing Christmas let alone awaiting its arrival with such enthusiasm and excitement. I believe the Marvin from JLS tree topper has something to do with it! :)

I send my sincerest apologises for not updating the blog since July. The truth in my atrocious attempt to keep you all in the loop was purely down to my despondent mood, a far cry from the positive and composed woman who had been posting previously...Positive Polly seemed a bit of a distant memory!

I struggled immensely with the last 2 months of Chemotherapy. The drugs had ravaged my body, mentally and physically I was a shadow of my former self. Even 5 months into the treatment I was experiencing new side effects, each as terrible as its predecessors and it was becoming unbearable. Foolishly, we had assumed I would adjust to the fortnightly poisoning and would become accustomed to the effect. When actually the smallest task became the biggest struggle and I spent the majority of my time completely enervated and often tearful. It got to the point where I could not gather the strength to stand from sitting and I got stuck in my car on more than one occasion as I didn't have the strength behind me to open the door...Serves me right for not sticking to the pro max protein shakes!

I will be honest with you, the frustration of it all made me completely intolerable and I became near on impossible to live with. Thankfully, my parents, family and friends were always there to pick me up...quite literally! Never once making me feel guilty for struggling. I actually can not find the words to thank them all enough for this!

This was all bought to a glorious end on the 20th of August. As usual, I was forced to get up. This had become a ritual on the Friday of Chemo, If I had my own way I would stay with my head buried under the cover pretending it wasn't happening. Except this day was different! I wasn't escorted to my usual recliner, I didn't have my blood pressure taken and told it was worrying low. Instead I was whisked off and the doctors informed me they had made the conscious decision to stop Chemotherapy. I still had tumours but they believed the current treatment would no longer decrease the size of lumps and that they were infact scar tissue instead of active disease. This is without a doubt the happiest I had been in such a long time. Due to my sheer exhaustion, all I could do is cry! I even cried to a Black Eye Peas song which is utterly ridiculous. I didn't have the all clear and it was yet again another waiting game but the relief was immense.

The joy is as usual short lived and the reality you are in limbo again is worse than before. If the tumours are still active, they are now not being treated! All you can do is hope. The only time I had been let down by the NHS was at this stage. My details were lost and I was left waiting 2 months instead of 4-5 weeks before I could have my PET Scan to re-evaluate the growth and activity of the Cancer.

This took us to October, I was regaining strength and the first signs of hair were being to show! No more walking around with one eyebrow as I had accidentally wiped one off or looking like a transsexual in false lashes during the day.

Finally the call came and we recieved the news we had been waiting for with bated breath... We had done it and I was now in remission. This should have been the most amazing feeling except it wasnt and I didn't understand why I felt so confused by it all. The anxiety of it all was unreal! I had 100's of questions and limited access to being able to speak with my consultant and I had made the error of comparing my treatment to others, which you simply can not do.

I'm ridiculously scatty at the best of times but it became out of hand. I honestly did not know if I was coming or going. On top of the fatigue, no self esteem and the feeling of being of forgotten, I can put my hand on my heart and say I have never been so stressed in my life. I knew I had to do something before it got out of hand and closure was what we all needed. It was time to organise the remission party I had daydreamed about months before.

To have all of the people who had been there for me over the last 10 months in the same room was incredible. The evening went without a hitch and everyone was in such high spirits! The Band and DJ were exceptional and without sounding incredibly cheesy a great night was had by all. The miscellaneous bruises and horrific hangover confirmed that! I didnt get to wear the Remisson shoes I had bought back in February... it appears after 10 months of wearing flats has taken its toll, not only did I lose my hair but also my ability to walk in heel. I am now literally a tumble tot, just what you need when you bruise like a peach.

The party is exactly what was needed. The prospects of the future are exciting and I am looking forward to living life to the full.

Since then, I've made my return back to work, something I had been worrying about but it didn't take long before it felt like I had not been away and we were all out of hand at the Christmas party. It is amazing that last years bash is where I established something was wrong so to have done a complete turn around in a year is truly astonishing.

I've celebrated my 24th birthday and for the first time I wasn't mortified at the prospect of being another year older. On the contrary, I was made up to see another year with all of my favourites!

And I have signed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2012 to raise money for Macmillan. A foundation whose constant support provides thousands of families the information required to digest the life changing news. It only feels like yesterday my sister was printing details of Hodgkin's from the site to hand to the family...

It has been an incredible journey! I am without a doubt a better and stronger person from this and the friends I now have in my life are unfortunately stuck with me forever. Thank you to everyone who has shown their support to myself and my family. It is you who has help us to keep going to now be celebrating Christmas 2010 with one another.

I will continue to blog details of the training and the climb so keep following for entertainment value. I can't even climb the stairs without being out of breath.

I wish you all the Health and Happiness for 2011!

x KJ x

Monday, 19 July 2010

You don't know what you have until it's gone...

I can't believe it has been a well over a month since my last blog!

The growing gap between the updates are not because I do not have anything to report, they are in fact due to the complete opposite. I have been so incredible busy I have been kept away from my laptop.

Since my sleepover at the hospital the medical team have been concerned at how low my Neutrophils have become. Don't worry I am not going to turn all scientific on you! Basically, your Neurtophils are a type of white blood cell and are an essential part of the immune system which provide us all with an immediate defense against infection. Another amazing element to the human form I didn't appreciate!

We have always been aware the white blood cells would become affected by the Chemotherapy as it kills off most healthy and hopefully all cancerous cell but we did not expect it to be to this degree.

The stated range for normal neutrophils in a healthy individual are up to 7.5. For an individual undergoing treatment for cancer the normal count is round 2.5, which is a significant drop and leaves the patient susceptible to infections and other illness. Mine on the other hand have taken a total annihilation and are fluctuating between 0.1-0.3. Effectively, I have no immune system.

This has of course left me hugely vulnerable. Take outs are a distant memory as I can not eat anything that is not freshly prepared, nor can I use a train, be in crowded places inside, touch doors, escalator hand rails etc...I literally look mental when I am out as I avoid all contact with everything and anything in close vicinity. On the odd occasion I get thrown a dirty look by busy old bags as I use my foot to open doors. Antibacterial gel is my life!

Easily the hardest thing has been not being able to return to work on a part time basis because the air conditioning is continually blowing around all sorts of germs and unwanted nastiness. I can't imagine my colleagues agreeing to work in a sweat shop just so I can feel slightly in touch with normality for a few hours a week.

The concerns have been increasing so I met with the highest Consultant who has gone against protocol and prescribed daily injections. Without these they would have to look at stopping treatment until my body can recuperate, something no-one wants. The injections are called GcsF injections which provide me with a hormone the body should naturally produce, however due to my inadequate immune system this hormone is not present.

So, now as well as rattling after I take the 10 different types of medication I am also a human pin cushion. I have to self inject each morning for three days after Chemo. The sight of a needle used to turn me green but yet again I have had to adapt. I also have no other choice as mum has turned into the injection fairy and kindly wakes me up with a knock on the door and a wave of needle wand :)

x KJ x

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Research and Recovery

Well, my little sleep over at Frimley Park Hospital injected a fear in me that I just could not shake and I was left worrying when the next curve ball was going to be thrown in my direction and I strongly questioned if I was actually strong enough to handle it?!

After I made a full recovery, I unintentionally got myself really worked up. I began panicking if someone coughed anywhere near me, didn't really like sharing a car with anyone and heaven forbid should a little snot faced child make a run for it in my direction in Sainsburys... I was becoming slightly neurotic!

I have mentioned before you become hugely body aware when something like this affects your life. I'm constantly copping a feel of myself these days for new lumps and bumps and I have also become much more receptive to my emotions. Which, unfortunately after three months of treatment have been completely exploited and abused, so as I could feel myself becoming more tense it was clear then that I needed to do something to help constrain my fears.

It was at this time I began to research in to the relationship between Cancer and Depression. It wasn't that I believed I was depressed but I'm aware of how quickly things can get on top of you. Depression is not a tangible illness but it is very, very real and could have devastating effects on my recovery. So it has been a month of research and I can honestly say its has helped, I'm feeling much more positive today than I was two weeks ago and my research has helped me to keep that control which is so important to me.

I guess I had fallen victim to my own narrow mind and tunnel vision yet again. I was naive enough to think that the Chemotherapy and recovery from that will be the only battle. When in truth that is only a fraction of the fight. Managing your own emotions and staying strong enough to admit you don't feel right is just as important and going to the hospital every other Friday for my treatment.

I'm also pleased to say I have now resumed travelling in cars with my friends, food shopping and I'm no longer tempted to kick you in the shins should you go to give me a cuddle! :)

x KJ x

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Daunting Realisation

Over the last few months I have been on a journey of perseverance and roller coaster of emotions, generally managing to take the ups and downs in my stride. Each obstacle in my eyes has been a learning curve and each lesson learnt will make me a stronger person. Never once have I allowed myself to wallow in self pity nor have I had a morbid out look over this very real nightmare. That was until Wednesday evening.

After my latest chemotherapy treatment on the 16th of April, I was in relatively high spirits and my recovery rate was much quicker than any previous treatment. I was out of bed by the Sunday and my mouth had not ulcerated so aggressively due to a new steroid based mouth wash. Life was good! :)

Of course the elation of feeling better was short lived and I woke on Monday feeling so incredibly unwell. This progressed through to Wednesday when I also had to contend with cabin fever which had well and truly set in and I was going ever so slightly mad! I was experiencing shortness of breath but put this down to anxiety or stress and decided to head to the Garden Centre with my mum to prevent me pulling the precious, last remaining hairs out!

I quickly regretted my decision as the sweats and shakes kicked in and my shallow breathing turned into gasps of breath. As soon as I began to feel a deep stabbing sensation I knew I needed to get someone to take a look. We dashed to the hospital after panic buying pansies and pork chops and were quickly taken though to the triage Nurse and straight on the Majors ward.

Due to the obscene amount of drugs I take on a daily basis there are many tests and procedures the medical team have to follow. I was linked up to an ECG machine, which measures your heart beat and bloods were taken. I presumed this was all part of the procedure. After a short while the Doctor returned to tell me that they had seen something abnormal on my ECG, and the team will be treating me for a suspected pulmonary embolus, which is a blood clot in my Lung or an artery in my heart.

It was a good job I was on the hospital bed, because I can guarantee my legs would have given way on me at that point. For the first since diagnoses I questioned whether I would prevail from this disease and make it to fighting fit once again.

x KJ x

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Unwelcome Effects

Time flies when you're having fun and apparently when you are undergoing treatment for Lymphoma! I have already had three treatments and am due to start my fourth this Friday which will signify the end of my second cycle. I have all fingers and toes crossed that there will only be around four more cycles and treatment will be over by September... I am already planning a 24th Birthday/ Remission party!

I have held off on updating the blog on side effect and how the treatment makes me feel until it fell into a routine or a pattern of some sort. Unfortunately this has not happened and each Chemotherapy treatment has had a different effect on my body and mental state. I have listed below the side effects that have presented themselves on every occasion.

I have mentioned previously there is no pain when the drugs are injected, I am however hit with a wave of nausea and become immediately drained, losing all strength and colour in my cheeks (even if I have fake tan on!). Effectively your body is being poisoned and my bed is the only relief, waking a few hours later to begin the cocktail of prescription drugs.

The nurses can not express strongly enough that prevention is easier than a cure for the nausea. So I take anti sickness tablets containing steroids to keep the sickness at bay, unfortunately the steroids cause severe sleep deprivation which conflicts with the extreme fatigue caused by the chemo. It is like Chinese torture and has left me in tears on more than one occasion. The course of anti sickness tablets are over within 72 hours and as you enter into the third day your body hits a complete low and getting out of bed becomes nearly impossible, this is because the steroids actually provide your body with a boost. Calamity-Jane seems more apt than Kaleigh-Jane at the moment.

On top of fatigue, nausea, loss of taste buds and hair loss I have also suffered a relatively rare side effect that causes my tongue to swell and my mouth to become ulcerated leaving me the proud new owner of a speech impediment and unable to consumer food. My diet for the first five days consists of 9 different types of tablets, Water and Mini Milks... I know once I am in remission the sight of a mini milk will make me shudder! I think that is the worst part of it all :)
Only I could call my blog style and survival and then develop a lisp!

x KJ x

Monday, 29 March 2010

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

Since the age of 14 I have not given the condition of my locks more than a seconds thought! It has been brutally dyed within an inch of its life and has been every shade of blonde possible.

So, that all came to a screeching halt when I was diagnosed and told I would lose my hair. I have not stopped think how much my hair actually means to me, I am aware I sound slightly neurotic but it is true! You hair is such a key feature losing it is hugely traumatic.

I am really apprehensive at the prospect of spending the next year of my life resembling a human malteaser and there are two specific reason why. The first is my hair shields the world from my incredibly weird shaped head and the second is the fact my ears appear to be running away from my body.

I have taken matters into my own hands and spent a small fortune on scarves and a wigs but can not help thinking I am going to spend 2010 resembling Jack Sparrow. Definitely not a look seen on the catwalks of London Fashion Week!

Unfortunately no matter how organised I was, nothing could have prepared me for the devastation and the heart ache you feel when you hair does begin to fall out, which happened for me after the second treatment. I had been adamant that I would be leaving my hair long until there was no more hair left. A bad hair day is tough enough the prospect of a No Hair Year is ever so slightly soul destroying!

The rate at which the hair follicles have died has been astonishing, the day after treatment and my bed was covered and I looked like I was wearing a brown furry jumper. To run you hand through your hair and it still be attached made me cry for two days solid. By the third day I did not even need to touch it, I decided then I would shave it and begin the process of wearing scarves etc. My hair dresser, however suggested I go short and wait another week or so before picking up the clippers. So I am now modeling a pixie crop which is something I would never have been brave enough to have normally.

Its also has given me a preview of what I will be able to do when my hair grows back. As it was falling out I made a little promise to it that I will never, ever treat it badly again! It has my word...

x KJ x

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Let the battle commence...

On the day of my first treatment the journey to the hospital was a particularly quiet drive. One of the hardest things to deal with is your own thoughts when faced with the unknown and as much as the doctors can provide guidelines no one is certain of how I am going to react. This was completely new territory and confirms again that no day is ever the same when battling Cancer.

I was met with my Hematology Nurse who I have been dealing with since being diagnosed in February. If I'm completely honest she does not install faith in me, especially after she asked me to stand on the scales to see how tall I am! I'm pretty sure at this stage I was genuinely fearing for my life.

I have a designated space and the rest of the room is filled with other patients of all ages and backgrounds who are all at different stages of their own personal battles. I was greeted with a beaming smile from one lady but the majority keep themselves to themselves. They are now recognised only by the colour of their hat instead of names by my family. Our conversations generally go like this "No, not the rich looking one in the black and white hat. The older lady, you know in the dodgy pink hat!". For entertainment value, when I have too lost my hair I'm contemplating attending treatment in some Lady Gaga inspired head wear :)

The treatment I am receiving is known as ABVD Chemotherapy which includes four different types of drugs. You can not feel the drugs when they are being dispensed apart from one of the anti-sickness drugs which makes you feel like you have ants in you pants for 10 minutes and drugs are dispensed through a drip directly into my PICC Line. Treatment takes around three hours and then I am free to head home.

I felt fairly energetic on the evening of my first treatment, I even attended a birthday meal. Foolishly I had a little thought that maybe, just maybe my luck was in and I wouldn't be that affected as all seemed to be going so well. As I woke up on Saturday morning unable to lift my head I realised that was an incredible error. The comparison of being hit by a bus was now spot on!

x KJ x

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The calm before the storm...

The week before chemotherapy started seemed to drag. In fact the anxiety and genuine dread that coursed through my body seemed to have a pausing effect on time and if I had not been clock watching so attentively, I would even suggest the minute hand had been moving one second forward two seconds back!

In previous weeks I have filled my days with friends and family, ensuring I do something I love each and every day. The week before treatment unravelled unpredictably and could not have presented a more vast contrast to my earlier fun filled days. I now constantly had an empty, numb feeling and had little control over my life. I felt like my independence had been snatched away. Everything was different.

I couldn't help but feel like Cancer had taken over and had effectively began ruining all aspects of my life even relationships with my closest because I just wanted to be on my own.

Now, this sounds particularly dramatic and I certainly do not have the energy to be a drama queen at the moment but I can not think of any other way to describe the incredible low you feel. Initial, I was really angry and embarrassed for letting myself become so affected and as before just tried to cover the fear with a smile and a joke but this low was burdened with such heartfelt not even the biggest smile could conceal it. On Thursday night I must have fallen asleep crying because I woke up Chinese on Friday morning with red puffy eyes and dry cheeks from the tears.

Chemo day was here and I was in automatic mode. I don't recall ever getting ready faster, probably because I looked so bad there was little point. The saying "You can't polish a poo" springs to mind! Usually I am running ten minutes late for everything...not today!

x KJ x

Monday, 1 March 2010

Que Sera, Sera

There has been a few reasons why I have not published any up to date blogs recently.

The first reason is because I have been too busy to even enjoy a wee in peace over the last week!

Secondly, I have had so many appointments to attend I have barely had an opportunity to comprehend the prevailing news or recover from medical procedures before that bubble is burst and I need to turn my attention to the next appointment.

To be able to remain strong minded I have to be able to digest the latest news to attain the positives, this has resulted in being relatively disheartened this week and I have found myself dwelling on the smaller things that have been affected. This includes trading shoe shopping for wig browsing, metamorphosing into a human pin cushion and administrating suppositories; the less said about that the better!

This was until I attended the wake of a wonderful elderly lady, late last week. The beautiful service was drawn to a close with the Doris Day hit, Que Sera, Sera and it sent my thoughts into to overdrive.

What will be, will be! There really is little point in getting so worked up over the unknown as long as you have tried your best you simply have to come to terms with the finally out come without an ounce of regret!

My PICC line was fitted without a hitch, I have been doing all I can to ensure any damage the chemotherapy may cause is limited and I am in the best mindframe to tackle the treatment which starts on Friday :)

x KJ x

Friday, 19 February 2010

Back with a Bump!

I'm generally a laid back kinda girl who rarely gets bent out of shape over the smaller things, it's a trait I have gratefully inherited from my Dad. This is why when I read about severe mood swings as a side effect I took it with a pinch of salt assuming my levelheaded disposition would not be affected. Ah bless, how wrong I was!

I woke up yesterday still buzzing from Tuesdays news. I have the classical type of Hodgkin's and the Cancer had localised in my neck and chest instead of throughout my lymphatic system, I was euphoric!

The elation however was bitter sweet and bought to an abrupt end yesterday afternoon after I received a call from my district nurse. She informed me, I would be having the permanent needle known as a PICC line fitted next Friday. The PICC line is used for the intravenous drugs used in chemotherapy and prevents the veins from collapsing as the drugs are particularly harsh. Reality had toe punted me right in the baby maker!

I reached a new low last night. I was numb and left unable to function!

Burying my head in my pillow seemed the easiest option. Instead I picked myself up, put some lippy on (always makes things better!) and took myself over to the boys house! During the drive, I sung so loudly and disgustingly out of tune by the time I arrived I had shaken the numbness and converted it to a feeling of relief that treatment was starting, I will be better sooner and I can wear my shoes quicker! :)

Everyday I'm faced with something new and this is a huge learning curve. I've now realised sometimes you need to take yourself out of the situation to acknowledge the greater good and move onwards and upwards as cheesy as it sounds!

x KJ x

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Surreal Relief

Yet another few days of not knowing whether I am coming or going! I have quickly realised that no day is going to be the same, my moods are changing continually and my concentration has been none existent...My friends have witnessed me constantly flit between conversation, forget where I am going and pour salt on my dessert!

On countless occasions I have found myself stood in the middle of a shop, completely encased in my own world with the dazed look of a lunatic tarnished over my face. The lady in the newsagents even gave me a piece of her mind for reading the magazine covers before I purchase. I quickly snapped out of daydream and shuffled out slightly embarrassed after my firm telling off even though I had done nothing wrong.

This is why Tuesday 16th February could not arrive fast enough. This was the day I would find out what degree of the disease I am facing and would allow me to regain the control I had lost when diagnosed two and a half weeks ago. Up until then I had felt like the medical profession have left me in limbo and couldn't envisage what the next week was going to be like let alone the next 7 months.

So I was ecstatic to be informed I have caught the lymphoma at quite an early stage and that treatment will be starting potentially with in the next two weeks!

I think the Doctor may have questioned the mental state of myself and family as the life changing information was received with the widest of smiles. It is surreal how pleased everyone is about the news. Realistically, I still have Hodgkin's, I still need to undergo Chemotherapy and I still have an incredible battle ahead of me but it could have been so much worse!

I think it's quite a healthy outlook to have about life, no matter how bad your day has been, if you have car, relationship or health problems it could always be substantially worse! Instead of letting the issues defeat you, remaining a Positive Polly throughout means you have already won half the battle!

x KJ x

Monday, 15 February 2010

Look into my eyes....

Ever since I was a little girl I have always had very vivid dreams and as I have grown up my dreams relate directly to concerns or worries in my conscious life.

So, I have not been surprised my dreams have been plagued ever since being diagnosed, what has surprised me is the extent of detail and how genuinely frightened I have been. All of my dreams are based around Cancer and it is clear my brain is going into over drive while I try and catch some precious Z's.

I actively decided to extinguish the problem before it begins to have a negative effect on my sleep patterns which need to be regular to speed up recovery time!

This is how I ended up sat uncomfortably in a 70 year old mans front room on Valentines Day morning. Cursing the fact I had made an incredible faux pas choosing wet look leggings and a bum skimming vest as suitable attire!

Through recommendation of a trusted friend, I had booked and met with positivity life coach and Hypnotist Beverley.... Yes, that is his real name and it was without doubt the most surreal moment of my life. Whilst I sunk into his worn sofa, I noticed the calming music playing from the dated stereo, his art work resting against the window over looking the allotments and his flute strategically placed against the piano. I was so far out of my comfort zone it was ridiculous!

It wasn't long before he was talking to me in dulcet tones and I was sat there breathing out all of the negativity! I was having to hold back the laughter. I came out very skeptical indeed but last night my dreams were free of torment for the first time in two week?!

It looks like I have made a new best mate in the form of a 4ft 10 OAP :)

x KJ x

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Have you been bitten by a Vampire?

Don't worry, this is not me jumping on the band wagon of all things Vampire at the moment!

This is what a blissfully unaware barman shouted across the Bar/Restaurant to me this week. Initially I thought his curiosity had be triggered by my newly dark locks with the pedigree shine and the fact I have been too tired to stick to my Fake Tan Thursday regime.

In my head I pictured storming over there and dramatically throwing my peartizer in face until I realised he had been referring to the large plaster covering my scar from my operation. So I gave him a sympathetic smile and went back to listening to my friend.

So, imagine my shock when he repeated the question...I did not know what do! Any witty remarks or comical comebacks instantly left my thoughts and I was sat there shuffling uncomfortably until I finally answered "ummm I've just had an operation" and quickly shifted my attention back to my flat bread and hummus with a rosy glow in my cheeks. When he next asked "What for?" I couldn't help but laugh, it was like he had inquisitive tourettes and had no understanding of social situations. We hadn't interacted with him previously, he'd not served us our drinks yet somehow he had decided it would be A OK to wail something like that across the room.

My friend found my awkwardness silently hysterical so my bids for her to help me out were useless and I eventually answered like a 5 year old "I'm just not very well". I had considered just blurting out my condition and watch him squirm but I have been bought up better than that and taught not to laugh at others misfortunes, although I do still giggle when someone falls over in front of me.

He finally got the hint and later bought over a 'Get Well' chocolate brownie to compensate :).

This was quite funny and he had only been poorly attempting to break the ice but it has highlighted how some people are hugely inappropriate. Things have been said to myself and family that are utterly thoughtless over the last week and left us all quite flabbergasted. Luckily enough we all have the positivity and a sense of humour to rise above it, infact after the initial outrage we find the unnecessary comments a little entertaining :)

x KJ x

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Over to the dark side....

After years of being a bottle blonde I have finally taken the leap and gone dark! There have been a few occasions were I have dipped my toe in the brunette pool but this has often ended in epic failure and I have found myself pacing friends kitchens while they mix up magic colour to cover my purple highlights. Mentioning no names of course :)

At a time when I feel like my body has decided it doesn't want to play properly anymore, my hair has never looked healthier with a shine only rivalled by professionally groomed pedigrees. So it seems strange that I can not shake the feeling I have lost my sparkle, even though the mahogany brown colour makes my hair look much longer and has ended my days of resembling the hair bear bunch.

I think this is because it is the first physical change I have had to make due to the Lymphoma. Whilst having treatment I will not be able to maintain my high lift tint which is music to my mums ears and if I'm completely honest with myself ALWAYS ended with a ginge tinge to it anyway. Oddly enough, I had discussed with friends going dark prior to being diagnosed but I still feel my hand was slightly forced.

So in a bid to reign my bottom lip back in, I am heading out into public for the first time in a week and hitting the shops for some retail therapy! I'm picking up a gorgeous pair of nude shoes I have pronounced my remissions shoes, in the mean time I will only wear them around the house teamed with a terry toweling dressing gown and a top knot!

x KJ x

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Fortified Fatty

It's no secret, I love a skinny frame!

Much to the disagreement of my Mum and the girls in the office. Now, due to my love for all things chocolate and Hummus I do not maintain this desired figure. However, I do try to be good, eat well and generally be healthy. I haven't been to the gym for at least 6 months but you get my drift!

So, imagine the irony of my fabulous GP prescribing me Fortified drinks. Calorific Milkshakes used by Professional Bodybuilders to BULK up!

Treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma includes Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy. These are used to destroy any cancerous blood cells in your body but also wipe out your healthy white blood cells making you very poorly! Weight lose unfortunately is imminent.

You will be entertained to hear I am now taking 2 CPN Promass strawberry milkshakes a day and have my own professional portable milkshake mixer!

Its all for the greater good and I have gained weight but I can't help picturing myself looking like a balding Mr Universe in no time :)

Also, many of you know I work for an online Internet dating company so to entertain ourselves yesterday we have been thinking about launching a few sites targeting Hodgkin's lymphoma patients; Horny Hodgkin's, Lymphoma Liaisons and Nymph Lymph... :)

x KJ x

Monday, 8 February 2010

Gathering of the Greats

SLASH.... Sunday lunch with the girlie's in a germ free vicinity!

I mentioned in my previous blog, I have found this week oddly reassuring and that is because it became instantly apparent what an amazing support network I have surrounding me.

Once diagnosed, the hardest thing I found was telling friends and family. They are just as shocked, upset and often do not know what to say! I have been seeing that weird, awkward face when someone is unsure whether to hug me, say sorry or tell me I will be fine ALOT!

People find it easier to accept this bombshell of information once they have seen me. Remember, I still look and feel OK, sleepy but OK!

So, I have been seeing friends and family in the masses...There is not a day I have not seen my parents, siblings, boyfriend and friends. Yesterday the girls filled my kitchen with laughter while their babies smashed things :). We were down a couple of familiar faces including our own foreign exchange and a new yummy mummy (whose bundle of Joy was born 15 minutes after I was diagnosed!)

Its all in the name of normality and without it I would be going insane. I guess when I am having a bad day in the not so distant future it will be these faces that keep me going and make it all worth while... Even if they do mentally exhaust me!


Sunday, 7 February 2010

Extraordinary Adaption

Hand on my heart, Brownies Honour and pinky promise; this has been the scariest, the most exhausting and oddly most reassuring week of my life! Six days on from being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and I have come to terms with the words you never expect to hear in your life time, even through statistics are now reporting 1 in 3 will fall victim of the big C. Naively, never for one minute do you believe it will be you.

The one thing that has amazed me is how you adapt instantly to a situation when forced to. Seven days ago at lunch in a disreputable food establishment, with a dodgy salad cart. Three friends and I discussed the possibility of Cancer and quickly swept it under the food encrusted carpet! Too scary to discuss! Today I am recovering from an operation removing a lymph node and anxiously waiting for my results to begin staging and decide on the pattern and duration of treatment.

Never again will I underestimate natures way of adaption and the bodies defense mechanism that allow you to deal with the world and its ways! Mine appears to be a nap! :)

x KJ x