Friday, 29 July 2011

My Birthday Wish...

Sophia's First Birthday Cake
I turn forty one today, Wow! Slight sarcasm in my tone, but the truth be known I don’t celebrate my birthdays. To me it is another day on the calendar that is like any other. I will be cleaning the house as normal with no cake, candles, party poppers just a couple of cards and a peck on my forehead.
To celebrate I have gained another year is a personal demon or pet hate. I do not want to grow old. My FB page is full of birthday wishes which I am thankful of, but my birthday wish is like every other woman on my FB page or blog with BC. Find a damn cure please, someone!  Then I will buy a cake, party poppers and all the trimmings. That will be a celebration that I will partake in because it means no more tears.
To me every day of my life now is a node of the head and a smile. By rights if Mother Nature had her way I should be pushing the daisies, but enough of the morbid take on life. I can now share my good news which I have been itching to share.
This is the movie I am appearing in Culture Shock. It is only a small part, but I do believe I have achieved one of my goals which are a positive achievement. I would never have dreamed that today I would actually say I am in a movie. I should not toot my horn too hard though because it still could end up on the editors’ floor, but what the hell. Now this is something to celebrate because it gives me the motivation to achieve more. I also have been asked to do some modelling. It is a freebie, but I get to keep the pictures for free to add to my portfolio. So what next? I bloody don’t know, but the world is my oyster I just need to learn to absorb the punches and smile.                                                                                                                                                                             

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

No-one is Perfect in this Life, Least of all me..

I think Sophia makes a excellent robot and it has a heart.
The early hours of this morning I retired to bed after chatting to daddy further. I wanted to actually for once try and understand the family I had married into. My whole six years of marriage was shrouded with questions that I felt I should have been able to ask from the start, but I always trust individuals to speak and I respect the words that follow. To me an individual will talk when it is their time to talk just like myself, but mine and Steve’s relationship is at a stale mate.   

My curiosity to hear a different side of events without malice or bent truths was genuine. Bent truths meaning you want to hear the bad as well as the good not what fits the gaps which is very hard to achieve. Yet part of me knew daddy also wanted to hear the truth also or at least my truths.

We spoke about my life and what had happened around me growing up. He tuned into my every word listening intently. Then we discussed Mommy (Steve’s mum) and how if she was alive he would still be married to her. This he did not have to tell me because you could feel the passion that was sadly missing. As I sat with daddy I could feel the same passion that my father also echoed in those long conversations we had and are so sadly lost. Theses conversation I had were rare, but my father once on his own could let his guard down. We spoke about my mum just as candidly about how he fell in love with her and he too was looking for reasoning , but in all he loved her.

All I want is that same passion and I believe daddy knew this. I could not say to him what I was searching for, but he knew my words were questions and I needed reassurance.  The fact is unless Steve lets the facets down he himself has created then my marriage will remain in limbo. One person cannot do all the talking even though I am able to talk until the cows come home to milk. The words that have been said in anger or stubbornness should not be held to another’s throat as a knife. Steve is a sensitive old soul, but he should be making the first move.

He has said to me time and time again he looks up to daddy. So by me speaking to daddy I am breaking one of Steve’s facets and tweaking the control button. This could go one way or the other it is entirely down to Steve and let’s not forget his sister. I have entered the lion’s den and knowing his sister she will not like it. I am building a relationship up with daddy and she is not here to control the conversation.

By listening to daddy I am slowly piecing together missing fragments of Steve’s upbringing. I and daddy have reached an understanding and I hope some of my behaviour he understands, but there are still fragments with time that will emerge. He said he blames himself for the way his two children deal with situations, but I said there is no blame. That is like me blaming my parents for who I am. No-one to me can be blamed for an individual being and individual. As long as they do no harm to others and walk their own path then who are we to judge? As parents we bring our children up with the tools that are available. There is no wrong or right only what you understand to be the path you alone understand to be correct. The fact he reflects on possible errors to me shows he is only human and the merry go round just keeps turning with or without him. 

No-one is perfect in this life, least of all me...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Plus and the Minus

Yesterday we went to my husband’s presentation of awards ceremony. He now has officially received his Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Building Services Engineering. I should be pleased, but the four years of hell I had to go through I cannot forget. Two years of which I have an imposter and a scar across my back to remind me. I understand my husband’s needs, but my needs dribbled into some crevice to be ignored. I had to struggle by juggling him, his sister and son, two kids and finding money we did not have. Now I am left to make sense out of all that had happened and somehow move forward.
Me and his daddy had a quiet word whilst Steve hob knobbed amongst his peers fluffing his plumage. He mentioned how he liked how I took control over the photos of his son all gowned up that I talked sense into his son over the amount of pictures that were required and cost. I said daddy believe it or not there is a lot you do not know about this relationship. The truth be known I would sooner divorce your son and that is no joke. All of what you see is about Steve not the people who had to be dragged along with it. Where is my eldest daughter Kayleigh? Why is she not here? That is the question you should ask yourself not the cost of a few pictures.

There are some things that I am not freely able to divulge on my blog and my eldest daughter I must respect. I love her to bits, but thankfully she has moved on and is now finding her own path in life.

Daddy was taken aback by my outspoken words after all now is not the time, but when is the right time in my eye. I look at Steve and now I ask myself what next? Where is my relationship going? The old Steve is returning, but for how long? What is making this man tick? I have made myself transparent and people can see what I am trying to do. Or at least that is what I believe to be so, but Steve is sticking to his plan. He repeats these words over and over ‘Stick to the plan.’ You upset the man he says that at the end of his rant, but what is his plan?

Every decision I make it involves all who come into contact with me. I see how if I move in certain directions I can make a difference not just with me, but with those who are around me also. I share my abilities knowing they can make a difference like father, like daughter. I follow by my father’s influence he never thought of number one when trying to do something. He bought a speed boat and realised only a few people could enjoy the ride out to sea. So he changed it for a cabin cruiser so more people could enjoy it. With Steve it is number one except for this damned BBQ he has, but even that is about fluffing his plumage. What is he trying to prove?

I turned to daddy and I said look at the end of the day I except your son for who he is. I just wish the feelings were mutual because the few days you have been here you have put him right without you even knowing it. I have had to fight for the freedom to do what I am doing now and you have confirmed all what I have said to him in a matter of a few days. He looked at me and said you must fight it is not easy in choppy waters.

Then Steve says he wants to do a Masters... and I smile at daddy...
I and daddy spoke today for hours about everything I laid everything bare with no tears. I explained how the house moved and the people that are in it. He sat and listened and when it got to intense when it came to talking about the breast cancer he told me to stop. I understood that the pain of losing his wife to BC is still as fresh today as it was then. He just said, but you must fight. He is right you must take the plus and the minus and make it work. If it does not work then so be it, but we must try at least not just give in.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Daddy & Horrid Henry Premier

Steve’s dad has finally settled into being in the UK. He has been helping fix up various pieces about the house ready for the BBQ on the 31st. The sun is shining and all is well for now.

I went to the Horrid Henry Premier @ BFI Southbank today. I was hoping to get Anjelica Huston’s autograph, but she cancelled. Instead I managed to collect Kimberley Walsh, Sarah Harding & Nicola Roberts autographs from Girls Aloud because Kimberley has a part in the movie.
Nicola Roberts

Sarah Harding

Kimberley Walsh

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Live For The Dream, Not For The Tears..

After my absolutely crap day yesterday I had a lovely surprise posted on my FB page last night. It was the completed video for Baby Love sung by Mitch Hiller. In my post 'Follow Your Dreams No Matter What!' it confirms to me I am right because last night I was on a high. The positivity I would have bottled and freely given away, it was flowing so strong. In the credit roll up I am called a ‘Supporting Artist’, but to me I was just an observer. It was a fantastic experience and I would tell anyone try it. After all BC may of put a dark shadow in our lives, but it does not mean we should stop living the dream.  

I could pick my image to bits on the video, but I am who I am. And for once I can actually sit back and smile at my own demons and give the middle finger. I like the moving image rather than the flash of a camera, but my curiosity to know more is already in full sing. The movie I am going to be in will be filmed soon and I am all prepared. So roll on round two let’s see what I learn from this experience. After all quote ‘Life is a box of chocolates’.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

But If I Don't Speak Out Who Will?

Sometimes you question why you even bother. The reply is blatantly obvious if you don’t who will. After spending two hours waiting to see yet another registrar because Miss S my oncologist was rushed away from clinic. I was left feeling rather uncomfortable about my clinical meeting. This registrar was in a rush to clear the back log of angry patients waiting to be seen.  

The truth of the matter is for the past few months my nipple on my right breast has been misbehaving. I have had a pain behind the back of the nipple and my nipple has been turning in on itself or inverting. On arriving at the clinic I spoke to my BC nurse who was concerned about my description of what my breast was now doing. Normally even she would fob me off with some simple reply, but she was concerned that I had not contacted her sooner to talk rather than worry about it. She said Sarah you are still very young to have BC and any concerns I should contact her even if it is just too chat. I said I was not too concerned about it due to having so many checks done in January, but just thought I would mention it now. Her reply was only an X-ray would show anything and most lightly I would be referred for an ultra sound.   

On clinical inspection of my breast the registrar did not check inside my armpit or prod or poke my breast. He just stood and watched as I explained what my nipple was doing, and the discolouration which now circled the tip of my nipple. His reply was because of the removal of fibrous tissue from the lumpectomy done in January 2011 the healing is causing it to invert. He could actually see my nipple trying to invert has I spoke to him. The nurse who was present observing the clinical inspection was cringing. The registrar said it was nothing to worry about and then in the next breathe said right I shall sign you off from the clinic now. I said no you will find I need another six month appointment. It was clear he was not interested in the slightest in what I had to say. The back log waiting outside was more important. Now to me he should have at least done like the BC nurse said and send me for an ultra sound as a precautionary. I will be speaking to my BC nurse about what was said and request she book me for my mammogram in six months time.

What worries me about this appointment is one of the things we are taught. Inversion of the nipple and colour changes should be checked out. The fact that I am getting pain from behind the nipple as well has got me concerned, but for now I will wait for my mammogram. I just don’t want anything to spoil the next few months ahead especially some idiot registrar cocking up. We hear stories all the time how we are accused of jumping the gun with the slightest pain, but if I don’t speak out who will?

On a good note I won £300 on internet bingo well it beats a kick in the teeth. I was bored and saw a advert and joined with £10. The cheque arrived today and I banked it straight away.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Race For Life! Cancer Research Uk

I had a wonderful time with my youngest Sophia doing the 'Race for Life'. We raised £307 for Cancer research UK which my youngest is chuffed to bits about. I am going to book another two places for next year because she enjoyed it so much. I think this time I will do some extra training to help me run with her. She ran the entire course only stopping for me to catch up with her. It was more like the Tortoise and Hare race. Sophia had so many of the other ladies doing the race applauding her stamina as we puffed and panted, she was encouraging us to chase her. At the end of the race we came in at 35 minutes. As the other women who were chasing Sophia came in they high fived Sophia. It was raining hard, but that did not stop the laughter. The average for the race was 30 minutes for 5 km race. So next year we will do it in 30 minutes or below. Not only that, but I think I will do something extra special to create some smiles.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Doubt, doubt, and more bloody stress!

We all have a calendar/ diary with certain dates locked in place. We fall back on these diaries/dates because of the constant questions that arise at appointments. July has never been my favourite month so to have my father die and my BC journey start on that month two years ago was no surprise. People find it odd as well because it is my birthday month, but I have never felt the need to celebrate it.

To distract me from my glum day I go check other blog posts. One of the posts goes into great detail about marriages ironic really because I gave up on my marriage sometime back. Then I think about the examples of marriage that I have acquired and it is bloody understandable. Most of the people I know are onto their second or third marriage by now.
I was an immature twit when I said marriage is for life and you’re in it for the long haul or not at all. You think about infidelity, but not the constant morning farts from some mans arse that turns your stomach. What happened to prince charming that could do anything and everything without a tear shed? Does he even exist?
I understand where my fellow blogger is coming from with her written word. She had found prince charming and lost him to the very disease she too has had to face. CANCER!
She questions why remain in a situation if you are unhappy? I am not unhappy just a little pissed off. I so wanted my marriage to be the one that actually survived, but I have only doubt left. To me you absorb the punches until the time is right. No my husband is not abusive or I to him, but I have slung a plate or two in frustration outside to release the steam building up. Only to realise I have to spend more money to replace them so I have given up on slinging plates. It isn't cost affective and men do highlight that problem.

Since my husband finished his University degree he is making more of an effort to patch the differences up. He has even admitted he has neglected his obligation slightly which is a beginning. In fact I would actually say the old Steve is back, but I ask myself is that because his father is stopping for three weeks and he is trying to soften me up. Doubt, doubt, and more bloody stress! with every marriage there is always the odd thistle.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Coming Full Circle

I love my work and the sense of accomplishment it brings. It gives me a feeling of self worth on a dark cloudy day. We all get dark days we just have to learn to chase them away.
At any point in the day someone can call me and say, Sarah do you think this can be done? Or I have this idea do you think it is possible for you to help? My answer is let me see first and it will be a straight yes or no. I love designing it is in my blood pumping around making me dizzy with excitement. Every image you see on my blog is self taught. No-one has sat down with me and said Sarah this is how you should do this. My brain has been wired into breaking down the info it sees and rearranging it into what I believe it is. I can look at an image and see how it had begun in shapes and pieces and slowly rebuild.
The first thing I ever designed and made myself with no help was a Victorian cobalt blue dress. At that time I was thirteen years old, and my younger sister at the age of seven was doing Victorian day. I had hand stitched every piece together including the zip. We did not have the luxury of the internet then everything was done by reading books. I had an image in front of me and I slowly picked it to bits so my sister would look the part in class. That day she was so happy and I was so pleased that for once I had achieved something on my own.

The only time I achieved an A in class was in woodwork and design, but I was able to pick difficult designs. I remember my woodwork teacher saying Sarah you are the only person in class that picks a difficult design to make, Why? I did not reply, but I secretly smiled to myself because to me it was not difficult. A few months later I took the finished product home to show my dad. His reply was, Sarah the business belongs to your brother. In other words it was a waste of time trying to impress my dad. That to me was my darkest day because I was looking for a place to belong.

Shortly after that I showed an interest in long distance running. They would call me Zola Budd at school because I had no running shoes to speak of and looked like her. So I would run bared foot on track and take great pleasure out of running past my tormentors at secondary school. It was my escape and a dodge card to get to the showers before all the others, so I would not be bullied about my lack of breasts. I loved running, but my parents would not support this choice either. I stopped running/designing and resided to the fact I was going to be stacking shelves rather than something I enjoyed.

Now I am doing what I was supposed to be doing from the start. It is strange how we come full circle back to what gave you that first spark. Even when I do the 'Race for Life' it will have me reminiscing about where it all began.

Friday, 1 July 2011

At Least My Angry Nipple Isn’t Angry Anymore.

‘The healing process only begins when you start to accept the chapter written whether it is good or bad.’

I am acceptant of my situation, but I am also argumentative. I can blindly walk through life knowing at any point it can be cut short or I can be pro active. Cancer is me it is who I am and my heart is still beating strong. Yet part of me cannot ignore its possible return. Although my breast has been taken away and rebuilt the fear of cancer has not dissolved. I am a realist with a sharp wit about me. I personally trust no-one because I know me and who I am.  

When I take time out to read other blogs and try to understand their personal journey with cancer. The realism of this disease sets a cog in motion. This cog that turns brings forth questions. It is therapeutic because you realise your questions are no different to theirs. Your fear which sits firm on your shoulder whispering in your ear doubt is no different to theirs.
Our tormentor through our personal journey is fear. Fear of not being heard or taken seriously. The slightest pain we feel or swelling we question should we mention or not. The cogs that are set in motion do not stop even when we sleep. We are told to move on with our lives to set goals, but you cannot ignore those that have lost their battle to this disease. This brings the question why?

I sat down in the clinic at the Big C hospital and for once it was empty. I innocently said to the nurse who was busy writing on the board the next set of consultants for the afternoon shift. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if it was like this all the time?’ She turned to me and said, ‘Yes, but then I wouldn’t have a job.’ ‘It is very true cancer comes with a very big price tag.’ I reply.
Yes my words were flippant, but the nurse did not take offense she knew exactly what I meant.
At least my angry nipple isn’t angry anymore.  

I call this image 'Anger management with a brush'