Tuesday, 31 May 2011

What a bloody downer!

I hate my dreams, I bloody hate them! I go to sleep in a perfectly relax mood and my brain goes into override on the day’s events. So I honestly could not of been that relaxed. I sieve through my day trying to work out what could of triggered this depressing dream.

1.       This is a depressive article about the true reality and the search for a cure. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/03/22/365076/index.htm
2.       I had written on a FB page of a fellow blogger and had read her recent blog. ‘Being Sarah’
3.       My granddads, nana and father’s death to tumours and cancer.
4.       I am writing a script using experiences from my teenage years not cancer related, fragments were in the dream.
These four things had got mashed together and had folded out into a mini movie in my head. It will teach me a lesson to go digging into memories whilst reading postings on my FB board.

Whether we see it or not life is a bit like a snake and ladders board. You will be rolling a dice and strolling along and hit a ladder. ‘Oh fantastic!’ You say to yourself, ’I have a ladder!’ and you climb it. Then you roll the dice yet again and you hit a bloody F’ing snake. So life is full of bloody snakes and ladders, but personally I don’t want either. I like walking along my board hoping I find the one hundred. To me for every ladder there is a snake in hiding. Depending on its damn length who knows how long your slide will be. That is the pattern of depression and its effects on you.

My sleep pattern is a bit like this also. I’ll be going to bed on a positive high and my dreams tell a different story. The stress of day to day living has a way of twisting you into a depressive state of mind. I hate my dream, I so hate my dreams especially when they are not nice dreams. I want candy and happy thoughts not the dream I had last night. Now I will be feeling crap all day because I will be thinking about it. What a bloody downer!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

New Normal! Phewy! I Am Far From New....

No matter who you speak to in the land of BC the two words that stand out are ‘New Normal’, but my quest is not new normal. I am in search of routine rather than ‘New normal’. When I received my diagnosis for diabetes the words used were ‘Life changes.’ If I was to reach a ripe old age with my limbs and eye sight intact I must make life changes. So the words ‘Life changes’ seem more appropriate for me. New normal feels you have to turn yourself inside out, but it’s really about routine in all sense of the word. You are in search of a routine with acceptance of a condition you’re not in control of. The fact the next appointment could be ‘Oh dear Mrs Mendoza looks like the big C is back’ does not help. Yes this is a negative sentence, but it is the truth. We live in fear of those dreaded appointments.

Diabetes is no different to cancer it is your cells on a suicidal mission. The fact that the two are now linked which really is no surprise. Means my so called new normal brings another new routine.

Living in London I tend to look for nooks and crannies to observe. It’s an occupational hazard of being a nosey twat as my friends would say. I am not one for being around crowds of people, but in this city you cannot avoid them. It’s like watching scurrying ants all on individual missions with a goal that is just out of reach. They have zero manners and a blind spot that covers the entire line of sight. So when I hear someone say good morning and smile I jump. Straight away you know he is not a Londoner.  I make a joke and say, ‘Well I know you’re not from around these parts’. ‘Here’, he said ‘Wow a fellow Yorkshire person with a smile’. I said,’ Too bloody right but shh! We are infiltrating the enemy lines’. Now this whole paragraph is nothing to do with BC, but that is the new routine or new normal. On my blog I talk about BC. In my everyday life off my blog board I am the same old nosey twat that I ever was.
I am not one for sitting at a table with a cup of tea pouring my heart out. You will not get any sense out of me. As my friends say I am good at bullshitting my way through a situation if uncomfortable.  
Instead I spew my life out on a blog board in hope my friends develop a better understanding of BC and its effects on me. It gives me a chance to sit back and read with the option to edit what I have written and understand this journey I am on. Talk is cheap, Talk is therapeutic, Talk is understanding that your life is not stood still, but you are whilst others run by if you allow it. New normal! Phewy! I am far from new.... I am ancient with an attitude.

So I have built myself a positivity brain with five things that are important to me.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Frankenstein Science & BC Land.

Me and my partner in crime from my teenage days got into a rather humorous conversation. Sandra has a no nonsense approach to life. Her favourite saying when times are hard is, ‘God does not pay his dept’s back with coins. It is no good thinking life is easy you have to work at it to achieve it.’
Now our phone conversation starts with me complaining about me waiting eight months for my nipple reconstruction. Her reply was why bloody hell they could have grown you a nipple by then. I laughed at her reply because northern humour is so dry and to the point. She continues, you think I’m bloody joking. If they can grow an ear on the back of a mouse surely they can grow you a new nipple.

My reply was well I never really thought about growing a nipple before. My next visit to the Plastic surgeon will be a very interesting consultation. Sandra continued I bloody hope so to and I want every detail relayed back to me. Then the conversation got even wackier. Just think they could grow a nipple on your arse. Oh my god an erect nipple on your arse how weird is that. By this time tears of laughter were rolling down my cheeks. She continues do you have a wart rub it on that empty space where your nipple was. Then you can grow your very own nipple all you have to do is colour it in with a permanent marker.  Now some may take offense at this type of humour, but if you knew Sandra you would know there is a hidden language behind it. To her it is no good dwelling on what was. Think about what could be. She herself has had her fair share of health problems.  
Our conversation brought a smile to my face and is not far from the truth. There is hope out there for women and men who have had mastectomies that the future is not so bleak. Science is moving forward at such a rate that even I am amazed.
To me there is a space for Frankenstein science in BC land....
And yes I will be bringing this conversation up with my Plastic surgeon...  out of curiosty.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Once Upon A time

Once upon a time I did not have breast cancer nor did I carry the fear, but it is strange how the pages fill out as each page turns. The chapters of past events have taught me valuable lessons not just because of the breast cancer.
Even though people have come and gone I am still here. The harshness of BC you cannot hide from nor the guilt you feel, but you must remain positive to this disease.
From this day whatever decisions I make influence my path and people that tag along in my shadow. My family are my priority, but I cannot ignore my needs. The question I ask and many others have implied, is there anything in my life that I would change? The answer is no because it is impossible to change the past. Wishful thinking cannot change past events. No-one is to blame for my body misbehaving in life. So why change what I have become?
The words ignorance is bliss do come close to how I really feel. If I was ignorant I would not know the true reality of BC and its aftermath. It would be a case of denial, but ignorant is not something I can attach my name to. The fact is if I was ignorant I would not have caught the disease in time to reverse the outcome.
I watch Sophia live out her childhood without a care in the world.
She does not want to see me stressing myself out about something she clearly has no understanding of, but truthfully could affect her in more ways than one. My eldest daughter is from a previous relationship with no history of BC on the fathers side, but my youngest does not have that luxury. I pray that both my daughters once upon a time stories do not have the hic-ups I have had to endure, but the worry I must admit eats away at me some nights.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Candy Culture

I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. She had read a couple of my blogs and visited those I had added as other interesting blogs to read. She said I cannot understand why people are so angry towards a colour that creates revenue that could provide a cure?
This is a logical response from someone who has not been affected by breast cancer. I said when I did the cupcakes to be sold did I take anything from the profits. She said well no! I said when you walk into a supermarket and pay £14.99 for a pink top that raises money for breast cancer. How much is given to a breast cancer charity? She said I don’t know! I said well the normal percentage is 10%. All items that are available on shop floors with the pink attachment are 10% or 20%.
Have you ever asked yourself where the remaining 90% goes? She shrugs and I continue. The majority of products with the pink attachment cost pence rather than pounds to make. They are normally made in sweat shops in Asian countries.
How much profit each year do you think is made on pink items alone? She said again I don’t know! I replied well neither do I, but these women are not only questioning pink they are questioning the exploitation of pink for breast cancer. Their anger is not just about a colour it is more than that, it runs deep. Personally I would like a more even percentage given to charities. If they are able to still reduce the pink product and still make a profit whilst giving the 10% to a charity. Does that not tell you how far companies are going?
The candy culture of cancer needs an administrator. Charities are facing cut backs thanks to the economic climate and relying heavy on donations and that 10% off products sold. Pink is being exploited and when someone shouts about it because cancer is far from pink. They are seen has being bitter, but if you ever spoke to any of these women you would realise they are scared. Their lives are in medical hands because the treatment they are on is their survival not a cure, but what if they could be on a better treatment and cost was standing in the way of treatment being used? This is happening as we speak people are being refused drugs because of cost. What if the funds that could be made from the candy culture are funding a nine bedroom mansion? She said I understand, but at least there is some money getting through. I said but not enough because unlike me who gives her time 100% without a pound/dollar sign attached others are reaping the benefits. Pink has become a trade mark for breast cancer. If that is the case should it be vetted like all trademarks?  
The candy culture is a million pound/dollar industry that should be managed. That request is echoed on blog boards and FB all the time. Breast cancer is not pink it is a treadmill of endless tears and frustration.
You have three groups of women. One group does not care about pink. Another group remains silent and on the fence. Then there is a group that hates pink and titillation of BC to the back teeth and voice it. We should respect all views and my personal opinion is getting a grip of the true identity of breast cancer and its affects. Her opinion is whilst it does the job then you have to except it, but that is the wrong attitude to have. The very treatment I am on someone or even herself could face or worse. And yes whilst I have been all smiles and keeping busy which hides the hidden truth of the torment. It still leaves a strong question; if pink is such good fun where is this damn cure?
Should certain companies that exploit pink drop their profit from the product altogether and give it to Cancer research UK or another charity? That is the real question people should be asking. Why are companies gaining profit from breast cancer? Not why are you angry at pink? That answer is clear as day if you are having endless bouts of chemotherapy.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Don't Be a Doubting Thomas

We can wallow in self doubt or we can embrace the cards we have been dealt. No amount of research I do will change the dark cloud that follows me. My life is in the hands of Mother Nature herself and always has.
If my cancer returns, or not, I intend to live every second remaining with the vigour and zeal it deserves. I admire those people that want to research every fact and poll, but it will not change their or my position just frustrate an already stressed out mind. All we can do is be vigilant and quick to speak out if we have concerns. That is the legacy of the breast cancer lottery. Whether I bang on about wanting a cure it will not change the hideous truth. For some the cure remains elusive with no glimmer of hope to survive it’s grasp. Men and women are dying of this dreadful disease every day.
I have taken control of the beast that lays dormant in my body and I am filling my days with new experiences. I cannot live for breast cancer and the torment it creates.
Thankfully I am now having experiences that once upon a time I would have said Sarah you cannot do this. I need to regain self belief that breast cancer will not be the last words I utter, but the total opposite.  For if I had listened to doubting Thomas I would not have been chosen for a role in a movie.  
I want to see and gain valuable skills on a film set and that is exactly what I am doing. I would love to see a script I have written become something more than words on paper, but I also need to develop self belief in me and who I am. It does not matter what others think. What is important is I can say I was there and I damn well tried. I could live till I am a hundred for all I know, but when you start to doubt in your ability to recover. That is when you enter a whole new chapter of events. Personally I do not want to live off doubt, but belief that I can do anything I set my mind too.
So to those that say hey you’re a nobody trying to be a somebody. Yes, but isn’t that what life is about. To strive and overcome adversity in a time when doubt overshadows a bad experience. To me that is something to be admired in any individual.
I look at breast cancer as a challenge and not my death sentence.  Some would say that is a naive statement, but naivety is to ignore facts. Cancer is not the only killer out there. Sadly across the road from where I live a young man was stabbed to death. Again gang culture in London has swallowed and spat another young life out on the kerb. He was twenty one years old and a very much loved individual who will be sadly missed amongst his family and peers. No doubt the local paper will have more details about the reasons for his death, but still it is a young life that should not have been taken.
The young man that committed the murder will now face a stretch in prison. Both families are facing a life sentence over a pathetic argument that should have been ignored.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Water For Elephants Premier

Today I went to ‘Water For Elephants’ Premier at Westfield’s in London.
I had a fantastic time with a bunch of girls from all over the place. We sat and chatted from 11am until the actual premier began. Yes it is sad but very true I have become a groupy at the age of forty, but it is all for a good cause. I helped a few of the girls get autographs because I picked a prime spot to gain them. The staff and security were brilliant they made the event enjoyable to the end. I was able to do some valuable networking for a project I have in mind. They gave me some excellent tips on how to do it and who to contact. Meantime I sat back and enjoyed my day with all the screams that have left me with slight titinus in my ears.  
I was lucky enough to get Reese Witherspoons autograph..
oooohhhh Yeah and she is very stunning and about 5 foot 3 at a guess in height.
She wore a stunning blue dress with some fabulous heels.
Very pleasant young lady.. Ty Miss Witherspoon.
Then there was Robert Pattinson who had all the women screaming with excitement. He took his time to go round everyone for well over the hour that was timed. I headed home with a book of signitures and a billboard from the event.
I can honestly say it was a day well spent with loads of very memorable moments to chat with friends and family about.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Concentrating On The Here & Now

This next month is going to be an excellent month with only positives. I have cupcakes to bake and sell to raise money for  Race 4 Life. The cupcake sleeve designed by me have been agreed and is based on the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ children’s story book.
This will be taking place on the 9th and 10th of May at my youngest daughters primary school. The children in her class will be helping to design/make their own sleeves with pieces already cut out and put together. All the children have to do is stick them on where they want to put the pieces. 
Other people are helping me with getting sponsors on Sophia’s sponsor web page. I have designed a small poster to pass round with the link printed on it. I just need to tread the streets and get people to sign our sponsor sheets also.
In between that I have around twenty costumes for three different productions to design and sew. The first production is being performed at her Majesty’s Theatre very soon.
 I have had to design wing like attachments for nine black leotard bases. These have to be detachable so the leotard can be used again. I have already started on the design and they are looking good. The second production I have to design and sew several fishnet type crop tops with only one sleeve. The over locker will come in handy for that particular job because of the neat seams required. The third production is five simple black cloaks. All these I will photograph and add to my portfolio. Something I did not keep track of before which is my bad.
I have also been told I have a part in a movie only small, but this gives me a chance to see what ticks on a film set. After doing the extra roll on the music video it has given me new found confidence to pursue rather than sit back. The director of the movie asked me to do a couple of auditions and he was pleased with both. I can honestly say my three years at my previous theatre position has not gone to waste. It proves I was learning new skills without even realising it. Never say a old dog cannot learn new tricks I say. The director will be moulding a speaking part for me and if I perform well in the film who knows what other projects I can be involved with. It still could end up on the editor’s floor, but at least I can use the experience as a positive.
The script is interesting and I can see how it is written and how they put it together with an end result. My curiosity to this side of the process of film making is very strong because I have tried to write several scripts for stage. To me it is all a learning curve with valuable skills and networking to be used to the max.
The medication Metformin I have been taking for two weeks with no side effects. This is excellent news because I can be awkward with medication. I have made my next appointment with my diabetic nurse to see where we go from here.
So that leaves me with my plastic surgeon appointment on the 16th May with my fingers firmly crossed that all goes well.  Even though they would sooner I had a silicone nipple. I am determined to get the surgery to complete my reconstructed breast. Hopefully I will continue to move forward without further occurrences of BC, but who knows. All I can do is concentrate on the here and now.