Thursday, 24 March 2011

Do Not Judge A Book By Its Cover!

Do Not Judge A Book By Its Cover!
This phrase I use on a regular bases. Whilst my exterior is all positive and let’s raise awareness deep down sometimes I just want to explode. After my post ‘I Am Not Perfect Anymore!’ It strongly highlighted how the general public’s perception of BC can be tainted if taken in the wrong direction.
My outburst of emotion could easily be twisted into an excuse of your just bitter, but really my words are the realistic truth of a true account of BC. Sometimes you must speak out to be heard for others to try and even develop an understanding.
Whilst some of us laugh at pink wigs and say there is no harm done, even me? The few that sit in the wings watching silently have a right to disagree.
We are not sheep!
We live in a democracy where those with a different account of events should not be muted. If you mute a person they can become withdrawn within society and that is damaging. I understand certain organisations want to promote a positive and not a negative account of breast cancer. But the positive and negative sides go hand in hand to develop a true understanding of this disease. BC women should be able to express their true inner thoughts on BC for them to try to move forward. This any BC organisations should understand and take on board before setting up. That some BC suffers may not be acceptant of their policies and promotional material.

 If society was not so built up on visual perfection maybe the scares would not run so deep on a women’s way of thinking.
My dignity has been given a serious knock, but the fact I am smiling means I have moved on.
That is a total lie!
Like so many BC suffers out there my journey with BC stretches out into years rather than a week or a month it is far from over. Every time you enter an office with a consultant your heart misses a beat with an inner ache. The smiles are there just to reassure the few that my sanity/humour is still intact.
Promoting a false security blanket!
I cannot knock the pink camouflage of BC it is what raises cash for research, but I do knock the fact that certain scrupulous companies use BC to promote their products i.e. Schwartz. To promote their products as a possible preventative of BC or cancer to me is ludicrous. There is no evidence that can back up a dried herb as a preventative of cancer. There are anti-toxin properties in freshly grown herbs which are still being researched.
So Schwartz get of the band wagon of BC please! Keep your dried herbs where they belong on a supermarket shelf. Let cancer research decide where a cure/preventative can be found they are the experts.

Anyway my rant is done for now until next time that is. Now onto a more positive note and I love positives. I have been invited to take part as an extra in a music video. It is a jazz number and a very well known song. I have a lovely little black dress to wear. Even though you most probably will not see it in the video or me, but I am just pleased to be concentrating on something else other than breast cancer ;-D

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

I Am Not Perfect Anymore!

Read another blog today that appeared on my FB page. The need to express can lead to deletion of posts even FB expelling you. Whilst we believe FB is an open forum to express we can be put in the naughty corner for stirring up emotions. One blogger felt the strong need to speak out on her blog about the distasteful comments put on a FB page she had been following.
What worries me about her whole experience is it has trivialised a very important need. Those needs to express not all people agree to what others are encouraging.
Humour has a place, but to what ends?
Breast cancer and its emotional scars both physical and mental leave the none BC world treading on egg shells on how to approach. Yes whilst we BC survivors want to prevent BC it can lead to anger just by approaching it insensitively. Those that have survived its ugly grasp are still coming to terms with the path they are now on. We hide behind a smile or joke trying to ease the intensity of a subject such as breast cancer, but BC is not a forgiving laughable nor joyous. It is tormenting and cruel with no forgiveness for those it affects.
The FB page was setup by a young person affected by BC, but how does a young person deal with BC, but with humour.
I remember being nineteen and coming out with cheeky comments to hide my discomfort about a subject. I would argue black was white and shout get a life so easily, but something changed and when that change occurred was nearly losing my first born.
When you are young everything is simply solved unless it encroaches on your day to day way of living. Then you have a big reality check and a once self opinionated brat becomes an adult over night. I have heard time and time again well be thankful you are alive there are others less fortunate. Like it is a duty to bite my lip when I come across something I disagree with. You are seen as being frigid like some inexperienced virgin. Your opinions have become a casualty of BC and the explosion of confetti approach is more accepted.
Whilst the none BC community latch onto the pink bomb shell like a suckling infant needing comfort. There are women being driven to despair on anti-depressants to block out the painful images that remain. Yet what worries me is what if by putting a pretty image up we are giving a false perception of BC. That we are trivializing and saying it is ok to have BC because you will survive. So feel your boobs is one more step to encasing the reality.
Before my mastectomy/recon my husband would want to jump my bones every day, but after the operation was done he would lose his erection midway through the love making act leaving me rejected. That is my true reality of BC and something people do not want discussed. BC changes everything and yet I must remain silent. Do not get me wrong my needs were satisfied, but his he would dash away. People’s reactions/opinions shape how we see BC and the recovery process. The disfigurement is not just external, but internal also.
Which would leave me thinking about what his sister had said ‘Most men do not like implants.’
After a while I gave up on even attempting to make love because of the feeling of rejection. After a while you sleep on the edge of the bed with silent tears trickling down your face. That is the true nature of breast cancer. The silent tears and internal screams that no-one wants to see or hear. So the humour is a copping mechanism to mask the truth, but when a BC survivor actually bursts a valve and lets the steam flow on a FB page only to face deletion of posts because it does not fit in with the image. This I strongly question without a doubt.
Yes the true facts that cash raised for a young people’s BC organisation that titillates BC could be better placed elsewhere leaves a question mark. You could also argue the fat cat corporations that line their pockets on our misery could also do the same. For every penny raised for BC is lining someone’s pocket somewhere. Pink or Feel your boobs who cares it’s the money that is important not the tears of women in torment. Let’s all be ostriches and bury our heads in the sand like normal people, but I am not normal.
The truth is whilst sexual headlines like ‘Feel your boobs’ create comfort and titter amongst the young. The titter is getting them to do the obvious and be body aware. The argument is done before you even start amongst the none BC community. I just hope that titillation is not being abused by a sick pervert for a kick.
Whilst we are classified as being over sensitive to people saying we are being over sensitive. Can’t people just understand that we are hurting? Our lifes have been torn and turned with no end in site. I have the comfort of waking up to a mirror that can be so cruel it can send you to the depths of despair. I wish I had a perfect breast like before, but the truth is my breast nearly killed me and I am not so perfect anymore!
Yes the titillation raises awareness and cash, but sometimes even when you are young with BC. You do not want to laugh, but you want to damn well scream!

Monday, 21 March 2011

To Spring Clean Or Not To Spring Clean!

The first day of spring is quickly approaching and so are the usual chores of turning the cupboards out. Yes I could ignore and pretend that it is not important, but truthfully I’m on kick arse mode. A good spring clean can be very therapeutic on the soul and mind. It helps you to dust the cobwebs on your brain and sift through unwanted garbage. The frustrations that you have spent months arguing internally over can easily become very transparent. But recently I have neglected all and now I have to play catch up.
My husband has no interest in the house or its needs. He knows he has a wife who is more than capable at doing DIY on her own. It has all been left to me cancer or no cancer from the minute I moved in. If I refuse he knows with time I will get frustrated and pick up a hammer.
I will have the last laugh though because he hates pink. Now would I dare do that...? Oh yes! ;-D
To make a house smile and not crumble you need the time and money. Both of these are in short supply in my marriage especially when we are constantly replacing things due to neglect.
Yes! I am materialistic, but not a branded person. I like to know when I buy something it lasts for some time not just a week or a month. (That is the single parent/Yorkshire bird in me.) I hate replacing something because someone did not take care in the first place. Yes things break, but a selfish bull in a china shop I cannot tolerate. Everything I grew up with I had to share even gifts that were given to me. So I am very protective of what I own unlike my husband.
If I could honestly sum up the actual mess this house is in it would be the house that Jack bloody built!                                                                                                                                                                      The wiring needs replacing because it was never done correctly. The plaster on the walls and the roof has seen its days. All the flooring needs replacing due to rot in places and not correctly fitted in the extension/kitchen. All the pipes need pulling out and resetting. The list is endless in fact you might as well pull the house down and build a new one it would be cheaper. I inherited this mess from my husband and I have to clean it up to a standard I can tolerate because he cannot be arsed.
So yesterday I spent the day fitting a door and encasing the electrics. There is now a neat cupboard primed and ready for painting. I have stripped the what was left paper on the walls which had been painted over with a blue vinyl matt (LAZY IDIOTS!) for a bedroom. The window in that room has now got a wooden cream blind and I am searching for paper to match. At least my youngest daughter will have a bedroom not a monstrosity of poorly thought out mistakes to go into. I hung my head down in shame when I realised how neglected this house is. I feel people are judging me on a situation I have no control over. I moved in striped back the drapery and revealed a hell of a mess. People can only judge on what they think they know, but the reality is they know nothing if they are not willing to see.
So it is Hi ho, hi ho,
It’s off to work I go,
Forget the lemonade,
I need a man with a spade,
Hi ho, hi ho, Hi Ho....

Humour people... don’t forget humour... may add laughter lines to your face, but adds years to your ticker.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Take A Chance Who Knows What’s Around The Corner

Both interviews went well and once my references are clear for one which is the volunteer position. I will be back in the driving seat doing what I love creating smiles.
My second interview was for a television advert for JML. I learned loads from that meeting not sure if it is for me though. I hate the idea of deceiving the public into buying crap. They were looking for people who are very convincing on camera. This is fine when you’re trying to sell a product for a company, but something doesn’t sit right for me. Anyway it is a start doing a local community project rather than a false smile. And the payment for doing the advert is not payment it is to cover cost and travel expenses.
Whilst I was researching the advert interview I found a website searching for actors for a film. I checked it all out and found it to be genuine so I’m going to have a crack at it. It was an improv piece and I kind of enjoyed it. When I was at secondary school my drama teacher said I should do acting. Apparently he rated me highly in my reports from school, but I did not have the confidence to follow it through I always saw me as a no body. That’s why I say I’m a background person rather than up front. I think doing the calendar shoot made me look at myself differently. I may not be the best looking women out there, but I have character. I had already done a couple of appearances on Television before now as a contestant. At the time I was trying to raise cash to get my own home for me and my eldest. The production team even then said the camera loved me, but they say anything to build your confidence up.
When I met Steve all that excitement fell to the wayside and I become a mum for the second time. So doing the calendar made me realise what I was missing out on. It is not about being in a film. It is about saying I can do that. I had a good nosey at all the other pieces on the web page and stuck my neck out. If the axe comes down then so be it I can say I tried.

Cupcake sleeve (Hungry Caterpillar theme)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

X-rays & Fundraising

This week I have had the luxury of having an x-ray done on my lower back. I know this is nothing and a pre-cautionary measure by my GP. I’ve been getting back pain for a few months, but it was slowly getting worse and affecting my walking. Personally I put it down to the fact I have had so many painkillers which has affected my bowel movements.  In other words I’m constipated and it is bloody painful. Constipation that word is never mentioned when we are young or that it can give you back pain, but becomes part of life when you reach a certain point. I would whisper to friends I’m bunged up and need a remedy (Prunes) rather than discuss it with my GP, but prunes are not doing their job. Oh well my GP is insistent I have an x-ray first to make sure nothing sinister is lurking.

My phone has been busy also and I have two interviews to go to. This is a welcomed distraction from the hum ding of boredom at home. Life must go on and I just can’t wait to find out whether either interview flourishes into something that finally puts a smile on my face. I am a grafter who loves the buzz of chatter and smiling faces that have achieved something that they thought they could not do. That is the whole point of the design of art and craft. To share the knowledge you have achieved in designing something so they can have a crack at it themselves. Art and design is all about self development whilst exploring different techniques that are out there. I just hope I remember all what I am typing when I go to my first interview. I am confident that at least one interview will lead to a job it is just one is paid the other is not. Well beggars cannot be choosers in this current climate.
The good thing is in my free time the other day I did some fund raising in South Bromley. I was there with a bucket and sash requesting donations for a machine that would help with solving lymphodema. Thankfully I only had four lymph nodes removed, but those that have all removed are at high risk of swelling. This is a very painful condition with the smallest cut leading to fluid build up in their arm or leg that can flare up at anytime. This machine can help avoid the misery of surgery and the threat of lymphodema with a simple scan.
With my youngest daughter there holding the bucket asking for donations people were more than willing to dip in their pockets. A cute face and a bright smile is an excellent secret weapon on the sympathy vote to raise cash. I and another fund raiser got talking about how certain people avoid giving. I mentioned I had four twelve year old boys give my daughter a penny each. My reply is well every penny counts and thank you very much with a smile, but what I said is very true. They may have found it funny giving just four pence, but those four pence is important never the less. So please keep giving those pennies kids because they end up in the sewers anyway when your pockets weigh too much.
It does not matter whether it is a penny or a pound as long as the goal is achieved. You cannot go in all hopeful Rome was not built in a day it takes time and me and my youngest have offered our services for next month. Once people see your face on a regular occurrence especially a six year old child who I might add enjoyed doing the fund raising experience. It will ripple and giving a penny or a pound will not be so hard to a service their mum, sister or Nan may need.

Thank you Lyn and the others involved we had a lovely day xxx