Get it? Mamo / Memo? I crack myself up. So I’m going
to try to attempt to do this thing. A weekly(ish) record of where i’m at. Might be good. Might be dull. All feedback welcome (be gentle).
Friday 5th July
Another Friday another hospital visit. Yep its Herceptin and Perjeta. At least the sun is shining! I’ve been busy starting to set up a local support group for younger women who have had a cancer diagnosis. Feels good to give something back…and to keep me out of mischief.
Tuesday 25th June
Arghhhh I went on Loose Women! What a bloomin incredible experience. I was utterly nervous but thank goodness Lorraine Kelly was there to keep me in check. It was wonderful to be able to tell the Loose audience all about Change And Check. Thank you to Colleen Nolan, Janet Street Porter, Kelle Bryan and Brenda Edwards for having me on x
Tuesday 18th June 2019
What a day! Today we launched the Check And Change campaign at the Metropolitan Police. We broadcast live from Lewisham police station and announced that they have taken on 10,000 stickers! They are going to be seen by 44,000 members of staff so i’m beyond chuffed. A huge thank you to Det Sup Tara McGovern for supporting this campaign and encouraging the Met to adopt it.
Friday 14th June 2019
What a day. I travelled up to Derby to meet Sally. Sally contacted me on Instagram because she saw one of my Change And Check stickers. She checked herself, found a lump in her armpit and has just been diagnosed with grade 3 triple negative breast cancer. It’s a tough diagnosis but SHE HAS CAUGHT IT EARLY! Sally starts chemotherapy next week. I’m so sad for Sally but SO HAPPY that she saw the sticker and caught it early.
Thursday 13th June
Errrr so look at this…Madonna has taken a selfie and look in the background!!
Wednesday 12th June
Today was epic. Since my diagnosis i’ve been such a fan of the podcast ‘You, Me & Big C’. It’s all about busting through cancer myths and talking more openly about life with cancer. It really has changed the shape of cancer conversations. I was so honoured to be a guest on the podcast today alongside the hosts Deborah James (bowel babe), Lauren (Girls v Cancer) and Steve Bland (lost his beautiful wife Rachel to breast cancer last year). We spoke about how life goes on hold after being hit with a cancer diagnosis…or does it? You can listen to it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0608649/episodes/downloads
Thursday 6th June
Today I had a Change And Check meeting in Parliament with Craig Tracey MP. I can’t say too much just yet (mainly because I don’t want to jinx it) but it’s exciting……
Wednesday 5th June
Had a meet today at Scotland Yard! I met the most amazing person – Detective Chief Superintendent Tara McGovern who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She is ridiculously ‘Line Of Duty’ styleeee and is 100% behind the Change And Check campaign. She has made it her mission to get 10,000 stickers up and around the Metropolitan Police (They have 44,000 employees). I’m so so chuffed.
Sunday 1st June 2019
The #ChangeAndCheck campaign is really going well! Ted Baker and Oasis have now signed up! I’m still hoping that there will be some more developments this week…especially as i’ve been invited to Parliament for a meeting! Might put my hat in the ring for PM while i’m there (not that i’d be any good). I’ve had lots of support from people so thank you so so much.
As for me, i’m physically doing ok. I’m still lacking massively on energy at times and have an abundance of ulcers but it’s not horrific. Today i’ve started a gluten and casein (milk protein) free diet for 5 weeks which i’m hoping will give my body time to repair itself post chemo. My digestive system is still massively suffering so i’m hoping this will help. This photo is me this week being made radioactive for a routine scan. Fun time.
Friday 24th May
Back in hospital again for some drugs. Herceptin and Perjeta today. Although they ended up just giving me Herceptin to see if it helped my stomach. Fingers crossed!
Tuesday 21st May 2019
Ok, so i’ve been pretty much non-stop since radiotherapy finished. Since I last updated this i’ve had two more rounds of herceptin/perjeta, a colonoscopy (fun) and a holiday to Florida with the kids at Easter.
Friday 17th May 2019
So today i’m at the Birmingham NEC for the This Morning Live show. I’ve managed to get Jack Fincham, Kelly Brook and Lisa Snowden to support the Change and Check campaign!! We announced on the Lorraine show that Oasis and M&Co have signed up!!!!
Monday 13th May
Today i’m on the Coronation Street cobbles with Sally Dyvenor to promote the sticker campaign!! She’s put them up around the Corrie set!!!!
Thursday 9th May 2019
Errr so i’m in Belfast today doing a live appearance with Dr Hilary about our CHANGE AND CHECK campaign. We’re in a David Lloyd gym! It’s also my son’s 10th birthday – what a difference a year makes!
Tuesday 7th May
Today I filmed at Asda in Basildon because they’re taking on the Change And Check stickers NATIONWIDE!
Friday 3rd May
Back in hospital today having Herceptin and Perjeta treatment thanks to my HER2 and Estrogen receptive diagnosis.
Tuesday 30th April 2019
Today I helped launch the #CHANGE AND CHECK campaign with ITV Lorraine it’s basically a sticker which goes on changing room mirrors. So far John Lewis, Monsoon, David Lloyd and Asda have taken it on!
Wednesday 20th March 2019
So today I started my tamoxifen medication. This is to make sure that my body doesn’t produce any estrogen because that’s the monkey that my cancer likes to dine on. I’m really nervous about this medication…i’ve heard awful things. Do let me know your experience with it if you’ve ever taken it!
Monday 18th March 2019
Whoooop!! I’ve finished radiotherapy today. I wrote on the wall in the treatment room and officially signed myself out of this major cancer treatment. I can’t tell you how happy I feel. I’ll still be in and out of hospital every three weeks for the rest of 2019 but at least the big gun treatment is done with. My lovely pals Anne and Ali kept me company today and then we went for lunch to celebrate x
Friday 15th March 2019
So today is my penultimate Radiotherapy session! It’s still going pretty well. I’m definitely more sore and tight across my chest but it’s really manageable so far. My friend Annemarie was keeping me company today as after radiotherapy I was straight back in the chemo suite having my 3 weekly Herceptin and Perjeta treatment. Halfway through I developed an allergic reaction to the perjeta so was given a healthy dose of antihistermine which took the rash right down but sent me fast asleep!
Red nose day was chaos at school today with crazy hair and school discos!
Thursday 14th March
Flying through these radiotherapy sessions now. Feel like the end is in sight. Mark came with me today and I was hit quite quickly afterwards with tiredness so it was straight back home to bed for a bit before school pick up. Belle had a bedtime story session at school but I had a funny turn there so had to head home. This hasn’t happened too often through my whole treatment so i’m feeling pretty chuffed about that. Below is pic of my cat Hermione who has come to find me every time i’ve had to have an afternoon nap 🙂
Tuesday 12th March
What an unusual day. Started the day at 8.30am at the radiotherapy suite. Then it was straight into Central London (Grosvenor House Hotel no less) for the TRIC awards ceremony. My boss, the gorgeous Lorraine Kelly was awarded a lifetime achievement award so we celebrated her deserved win. I managed to sink two glasses of champagne. Radiotherapy what?!?! Was I even being treated for cancer this morning? Today proved to me that life goes on and it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.
Yay! I’m officially half way through my treatment. Only 7 more to go. It’s flying by and is genuinely so much easier than any of the chemo malarky.
Tuesday 5th March 2019
My lovely jubbly friend Laura has come from Liverpool today to accompany me to radio. I’m feeling knackered so the company is gooood.
Monday 4th March
The radiotherapy machine is broken so they can’t treat me today. Quite a relief because i get a day off!
Friday 1st March 2019
Yay! I’ve finished 1/3 of my radiotherapy sessions. It’s really been an awful lot easier than I thought. I’m tired and feeling slightly sunburnt but it’s pretty manageable so far. Apparently, it’s accumulative so I may be writing something completely different this time next week.
Monday 25th Feb 2019
Today is day 1 of Radiotherapy. I arrived at 11.15am and was there for about 40 minutes. The actual ‘zapping’ time is a matter of minutes. The time is mostly taken up by lining my body up to match the beams on the machine. It’s really straight forward and the staff are lovely. It’s completely pain free. Afterwards i’ve been feeling a tightening sensation and a slight tingle but nothing major.
Friday 22nd Feb 2019
It’s Herceptin and Perjeta day at the hospital. This is the drug I have to have every 3 weeks. It takes about 4 hours in total. I’ve been getting quite a few side effects from it, mostly joint pain and chronic diarrhoea.
Wednesday 20th Feb
It’s half term! Took the kids to the Jurassic Coast today and went fossil hunting. Life is good on days like this 🙂
Thursday 14th Feb 2019
For Valentine’s day I went to the radiotherapy suite to have a CT scan (tres romantic). This is to map out where the beams are going to go when I start the radio treatment (25th Feb). It was completely pain free. I just had to lie half naked on a hard table with my arms in stirrups. The nurse drew various dots on my chest and put a wire across my mastectomy scar (so it showed up on the scan) and then I was sent through the non-claustrophobic donut shaped machine. Quick and easy. Whole appt took about 40 minutes. Wish all appts were as simple as this! Then I went straight on to my daughter’s parent teacher meeting at school.
Wednesday 13th Feb 2019
Time for my final boob inflation before radiotherapy. My surgeon injected another 70ml of saline so now my fake breast is ENORMOUS! This is to make sure that the skin expands sufficiently for when I start radio because the radiation will make the skin contract. The hope is that by the end of radiotherapy the breast will be the same size as my old school one. Your skin changes after the harsh treatment and will become less pliable. It’s not comfortable when you have your skin stretched but it’s not hideous either – it’s just not comfy but you get used to it.
Wednesday 6th Feb 2019
Quick boob check up today with surgeon. Loads of menopausal symptoms which I could frankly DO WITHOUT.
Monday 4th Feb 2019
Herceptin day today. Wired up for about 3 hours. What a complete shock to the system after SUCH an amazing holiday. Still at least I had company with my sister-in-law Cathie. Then we went for some lunch afterwards.
Friday 25th Jan 2019
Being completely YOLO and naughty and heading to the Maldives today for a week of R&R. Who cares. I need something to keep that smile on my face right!?
Thursday 24th Jan 2019
I’ve decided to cut my hair off today! My bald patch has grown through so I want my hair to be all one length. I’m so grateful that the cold cap kept my hair in such good condition and the regrowth is thick! So i’ve gone fairly short. My kids think i look like a boy. I however am McLoving my new hair washing regime. Wash and go ladies. Wash and gooooooo.
Tuesday 22nd Jan 2019
So a letter has arrived today confirming that i’m FULLY MENOPAUSAL. Help me please!
Thursday 10th Jan 2019
I have an update with my oncologist today. We discuss radiotherapy and decide on a late February start date. It’s a pretty intensive but informative meeting. I was hoping for high fives now that chemo is over but it was fairly serious discussing the possibilities of recurrence. I leave feeling like I should have taken someone with me because I didn’t absorb everything they told me. I’m so happy with my oncology team though – they’re so reassuring.
Wednesday 9th Jan
I visit my surgeon today for a reconstruction update. I am still having my breast skin expanded so I have another pump up. I leave feeling like i’m smuggling a beach ball in my bra! My scar is healing so well. I’ll be having my nipple made later on in the year when radiotherapy is out of the way.
Friday 21st Dec 2019
Hooray! Today is my very last chemo session and thanks to the booster injections i’ve been having my white cells are UP! So it’s all going ahead. Great news. I have Mark come with me because in all honesty i’m feeling exhausted and want to sleep and rest as much as I can. So we have a pretty chilled out session.
Friday 14th Dec
White cells are still playing ball thanks to the growth injections. So today I nailed chemo number 15. The penultimate one. I’ve had quite a good week leading up to this too. Mainly tired but not too much else 🙂 Our amazing friends Jerry and Lyana came with Mark and I for the session. I slept for most of it!!
Friday 7th Dec 2018
Hoorah! White cells are back up so chemo is on! Got my gorgeous friend Lu with me today. I’ve been having injections all week to boost my white cells so it’s obviously worked. I’m so happy! Nearly there!
Friday 30th Nov 2018
So my white cells have crashed again. I’ve been full of cold all week with an awful cough so I wasn’t surprised but still gutted. I’m desperate to get them all finished now. Especially with Xmas approaching…I want to be/feel as normal as possible for that! My friends Charlie and Tilly joined me. I still had to have the Herceptin and Perjeta so our time wasn’t wasted. I’m going to be on injections all week now to boost my cells. xx
Friday 23rd Nov 2018
My white cells are playing ball so chemo is on again today. My friends (and colleagues) Sue, Emma and Lorraine came to keep me company x
Saturday 17th Nov 2018
To give my white cells a boost I’m having to have injections at home. Five days in a row of this:
Friday 16th Nov 2018
Finally I’m well enough for chemo. I’m desperate to get the sessions ticked off now. ITV came to film me today and Dr Hilary popped along!
Friday 9th Nov 2018
I’ve got horrific mouth sores so I’m too ill for chemo today. I still have my herceptin and perjeta drugs though as my cancer is hormone positive
Friday 2nd Nov 2018
So i was supposed to have round 10 of my Paclitaxel chemo today but my white cell count was too low. What a blow. I was gutted because I really want to be finished in early December but this means it all has to be pushed back. So I’m having to skip this session but fingers crossed for next Friday. Also, I have my girlfriends all there to support me….
Still, every cloud and all that, we decided to make the most of the day and went out for lunch instead 😂.
In other news, my 5 year old (Belle) asked this evening if I was going to die soon. My 7 year old interjected and said that I can’t die because I’m having special medicine which stops the dying from happening.
Friday 19th October 2018
Thursday 18th October 2018
SORRY for the break in service. If you follow my Instagram you’ll know I sadly lost my mum 5 days ago so I’m on struggle street at the moment. Please please bear with me…I’ll be back next week xxxxx
Friday 12th Oct
Round 8 chemo today and my gorgeous toned Mark joined me for the day
Sunday 7th October 2018
Urgh – the recovery isn’t great this time round. Feeling very sick and achy. Just want to sleep which is frustrating for me and the kids. Hoping for more energy tomorrow x
Friday 5th October
Had round 7 of 16 chemo sessions today. It was a shorter session (7 hours) which was better.
Thursday 4th October 2018
Tuesday 2nd October 2018
Sorry but i’ve been in my chemo shell for a few days. Last week the spasms just went through the roof so I was pretty bed bound. Then last Friday (28th) I was back in for my next chemo session. I also started my Herceptin and Perjeta drugs at the same time, I’ll be having these targeted therapy drugs every three week for a year. So I was in hospital for 11 hours and came away brimming with chemicals – but they’re doing me good (i have to keep telling myself that). Just so you know – Herceptin & Perjeta drugs are being used because my cancer is hormone positive which means it uses my hormones to help it grow. These neat drugs prevent this snide relationship from blossoming.
My recovery has been ok this time round apart from a very dodgy tummy (tmi?). I’m sleeping a lot but i’m used to that now. At least I can do the school run which i’m so happy about!
Monday 1st October 2018
No words….!! Take a look at this…
Wednesday 26th September 2018
So I woke up feeling less spasmy (is that a word?). I still couldn’t drive and do the school run but I did manage to get downstairs and make brekkie (yay!). I was up last night from 2am til 5am so I’ve been feeling pretty special today. My friend Charlotte took me to hospital for a boob pump. I’m basically having the skin stretched after my mastectomy. Every 2/3 weeks I go in and my breast surgeon injects saline into the bag which was fitted when I had the surgery. The idea is to stretch the skin ready for an implant!
This is me having it done. It’s fairly painless . I’ll write a proper detailed post about it soon. Then I spent the rest of the day sorting the kids homework. Oh and the cat brought in a dead mouse. Oh and Mark is away in Dubai with work. Great timing!!
Tuesday 25th September
4 days after chemo and 3 days til the next. Urghhhhh feeling rotten. I can hardly walk at the moment. I’ve got shooting spasms so deep in my bones that it’s utter agony. It’s now 2am and the pains are keeping me awake. Paracetamol won’t even touch the sides. I guess this round wasn’t the walk in the park I was hoping for 🙄. Fingers crossed for the morning…
Monday 24th September 2018
So i’m 3 days after my last chemo and only 4 days until my next session. I haven’t been able to leave the house today (or yesterday) because of the recovery. Weirdly Saturday I wasn’t too bad but since then i’ve pretty much just slept. My white cells are low apparently so i had to have a home injection on Saturday night to stimulate my bone marrow to make new cells. I think this is the cause of the crazy spasms i’ve been getting. They’re like the deepest internal cramps you can imagine and when I get them they literally take my breath away. So i’m just sat going stir crazy at home!
Friday 21st September 2018
Today I had my 5th round of chemo. The drug changed to Paclitaxel which I’ll now be having every week until Xmas (11 more to go). My white cells are low so it took a while to decide if I was well enough for the treatment but my oncologist finally signed it off. I was in hospital from 9.30am-4.30pm so a loooong day. Home now and feeling nauseous but not as bad as the last round (yet) and also very tired. Not too horrific though x
Saturday 15th September 2018
Day 15 after last chemo and 6 days until the next. I’m on such a good run at the moment. Today i’ve managed to get the children to their usual Saturday clubs. I’ve hung washing out (secret addiction of mine – you can’t beat the smell of fresh breeze dried laundry). It’s my sister-in-laws 40th so we’ve been out for a boozy lunch and I managed a glass of fizz which went down semi-ok. The whole time there was only one brief mention of my chemo and then I managed to get lost in the ordinary conversation – oh how I love that. To feel normal and not a patient. I’ve had a quick power kip to recharge my batteries and I’m now sat waiting for the kids to fall asleep so that I can sneak over to my brother’s house to finish the birthday celebrations. I have his kids here too (5 in total) and there’s some kind of fight/party going on upstairs and i’m wondering how long I can eek this out until someone cries or something is broken. Sorry – this is supposed to be about me and my recovery from the last treatment. All in all i’m cooking on gas.
Wednesday 12th September 2018
Day 12 after last chemo and 9 days until the next. I’ve had another pretty good day today. My energy levels are back up which means that I only need a quick power sleep at lunchtime and then i’m ready for the rest of the day. I’m also off all pain/sickness relief (until the next chemo). I had a boob inflation today at the hospital. I’ll write about this procedure in more detailed blog post but essentially i’ve had a further 50ml of saline solution injected into the bag which sits under the skin of my mastectomy site. It’s like an empty breast implant which needs inflating every few weeks to stretch the skin. Sounds pretty ouch but it’s not too bad! Right, off to take my son to his football practise. I’m taking 3 other boys too so that I can stock up brownie points with the fellow mums..haha
Monday 10th September 2018
Day 10 after chemo and 11 days until the next. Hoorah i’m feeling pretty normal today. I’ve managed the school run, a visit from my friend Tilly and tennis club with the kids. I’ve got the involuntary spasms in my groin which are annoying to say the least but totally bearable (funny to watch too apparently). It’s so satisfying that in the space of a week I can be bed ridden and then out and about enjoying life as normal!
Sunday 9th September 2018
Day 9 after chemo and 12 days until the next. Another good start to the day. I decided to make lemon curd because when life gives you lemons….what else are you supposed to do. Made me smile anyway. It kept April (my 7 year old) occupied anyway. Then over to my brother’s for a small birthday lunch. I hit a wall and fell fast asleep on their sofa for an hour…but apart from that it’s been a goooood day.