Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I am Not Selfish, I Just Know Wrong From Right!

The only time I have found peace is when I have withdrawn myself into a celibate life style. It was me in control pulling the strings with none of the drama of having a man intrude on my personal space. When I married my now husband I did not see the wave I was surfing on. Nor the baggage that was in the way that would create an extra burden.

A friend asked me, Sarah why remain in a situation when you are being punished for being you. I replied well I just can’t keep running away. Her reply but there is no running involved because you have become a  egg in a bubbling pan that has been placed on a high flame. To her I did not deserve any of what I have gone through or the stress my husband was adding. I had gone to my husband literally looking for answers and he has kept me on a long boil. The only problem with this is what happens when the water runs out? What top it up and boil some more or will the egg be too damaged to continue? I believed in heart of hearts Daddies visit could of built a bridge of hope, but no.

I tend to blame me for being me and look for forgiveness when really there is no forgiveness involved. The real issues within our relationship will never be addressed if both sides do not face their mistakes and move on. Being held to emotional ransom as punishment is very cold, in fact it is dangerous.

My verbal lash outs and behaviour he says he has to find away, if he can, too forgive. He speaks like all the issues are with me and how my selfish behaviour has put our relationship in this dark space. This I find an insult not only to my intelligence, but to my whole being. When I go into a relationship I concentrate solely on an individual. Do not get me wrong I still find a percentage of my time to continue what I am trying to achieve. Only a fool would shut themselves totally down from reality and concentrate on one person. Is that the selfish bit he is complaining about? My friends burst out laughing when I told them his excuse for me being shut out. To them I have been more than accommodating to his needs and he should not throw such large stones without the full impact of his behaviour being addressed too. To get a true image of the why’s and what for’s the full story must be in place. And four years of stress can cloud one’s mind with questions that now are not relevant. To them if I had neglected Sophia’s needs then fine or had a affair sure it explain a lot, but his replies are both selfish and manipulative to validate his behaviour in desperation to hide the facts. Not once has he taken responsibility only issued orders which only suited him. It is only natural for an individual who has had her independence to rebel and go her own way. This trait of my personality was never hidden from view.

The only time I say enough is enough is when my back is up against wall. I have put 100% into trying to make my marriage work, but every marriage faces a glitch or clash especially when someone’s attention is diverted elsewhere.

But should I be punished or shunted into a false sense of security?
I have had a whole year of no physical contact from my husband. Not a romantic kiss. Touch or caress. We talk; we smile, but zero passion. The torture of lying next to someone that shows no mercy is worse than being punched. The mental strain it places me under is unbearable at times, but you begin to find a routine to block the pain out. It is only when something reminds you of what you should have that the tears of frustration want to flow.

I have had two years of torment at the hands of the big C. Why should I be punished any further? How much should the screams in my pit of my stomach be muffled for his comfort? How long should I crawl?  Does that sound like a selfish woman? I want the truth, but his truth and my truth do not mix. All I can do is keep moving forward and forge my own path because I have too for my young daughter and my well-being. This is not selfish behaviour it is the survival instinct of a woman who has been crucified for what she believes is right.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Beating Mr Grumble...

These past few days have been extremely hard for me because I am having down time. Down time is when Mr Grumble is starting to cause issues. I struggle badly with wanting to hibernate or just work through its hard felt grip. I was invited to meet up with a few BC friends, but I could not face being around people. My sullen attitude would not help these ladies on their personal journeys some more serious than mine.

All I want to do is just curl up in silence and do nothing. Yet has a mother of a six year old child it just is not possible. Why should my daughter suffer for my down time?

Depression is a peculiar illness to suffer from because each person is unique in how they deal with its effects. I have always suffered from mild depression as far as I can remember. Its bouts can be really debilitating, but I like to resolve its unwelcomed visits my way because I am stubborn. I know what has started the spiral and look for ways to regain the balance.

I have had really bad moments even when I was young so bad that on a couple occasions I took over doses, but I quickly realised looking for a quick exit was not the solution. If I was to find a moment of peace from Mr Grumble I had to except and understand how he was created in the first place.

Someone once said if you spend your life pleasing others without understanding why? You will forever keep bumping into Mr Grumble. This is very true because we tend to neglect how much the pleasing process impacts on our personal wellbeing.

The shadows Mr Grumble casts on some one’s life are so intense it can leave you weak, helpless and at its mercy if not managed correctly. So I sit back and say right it is down time which means me time. I find a quiet space organise my thoughts and look at how I can calm Mr Grumble.  

I have known for sometime that certain foods Mr Grumble thrives on due to me being a type 2 diabetic. So if I feel his presence getting close I will change my routine. Or even switch off to certain things that I know will enhance its prolonged stay. There is no cure for Mr Grumble only good management so I have been told.
If I can give any advice for someone who has Mr Grumble intruding on their lives it would be the one bit of advice I recieved from a shrink. Don't shut down find a friend or someone impartial to talk too. Silence is Mr Grumble's weapon and being pro active by clearing the cobwebs can help.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

That is not bleating on about cancer is it?

In the land of BC it is common practice to be told how we should behave. The words ‘you talk about BC too much.’ are readily used, or ‘Try to move forward.’ is my favourite words. ‘Try’ is the word my BC nurse uses in every sentence focusing in on the word ‘Try’ as a positive. The fact the memories of our big C journey are not so forgiving and are torture because of the scares left behind, is not something I can turn my back on. If only our journey was like a broken leg, it could be fixed with a cast and six weeks later all would be forgotten.

To move forward it takes a hidden strength that we find hidden in the crevice of our minds and hearts. After all our focus point is not necessarily ourselves, but our families that are sat waiting in the wings watching on helpless. Yes we come across as kicking and screaming grasping at straws due to the fear instilled after BC, but underneath all of that we are a jolly bunch of C survivors. Our humour and determination gets us through our lonely days. Sometimes on a really bad day I will go quiet and find shade away from the noise of others, but BC lives are not just the big C.

As I read other blogs and posting on my FB you can see that new hidden strength being shared. It is an attitude a stance even when bad news is shared it sits strong. No-one wants to concentrate on the big C, but they don’t want people to forget and become complacent with the treatment on offer. We beat our drums hard and share information that has been released in cyber space in the hope others get better care than we received. That is not bleating on about cancer is it?

Meet Lenore: She is a cyber knife robot She could replace traditional radiotheraphy treatment

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Sarah Don't You Think it is Sad?

I love to quote people who are negative, but hide behind sincerity. ‘Sarah don’t you think it is sad what you are doing?’ My life and blog was being scrutinized and the fact I have started autograph hunting celebs. My reply was, ‘And what did you do yesterday? Come to think of it last week or last month as well.’ She knew she had offended me, but the woman does not know me, not really. It is my way of turning the table on her and finding out why she made such a statement. If I am happy why even approach the subject?
So what does this woman want me to do? OK... I’m waving my flag I surrender. Oh, shit no you have had the opposite effect on me.
When I start something there is always a reason set out to begin with. If she knew me well enough that question would not arise in her tinny narrow world. How or what I spend my time on is actually nothing to do with her. I like to write down my adventures, so bloody what!
If I know it has a positive to some ones way of thinking, brilliant. Why even attempt to judge me for saying you know what I’m not going to sit back and do nothing with the remainder of my life.
Yes I could do my hobbies silently and not broadcast it on the internet, but to be honest I don’t care. To live is to share ones experiences in life. The tears, the smiles of past events should not be hidden away.
The opportunities that are opening up to me were not by thinking, (Quote) Sarah don’t you think it is sad what you are doing? They have come about because I am taking a chance and willing to take criticism, but I don’t think she is willing to except my words in reply. I do not resent her opinion or feel angry, in fact I am bemused.
If I was weak and listened to what this individuals opinion meant. My life would be just as mundane as hers. I am happy with what I do, and what I write about. If you think it is sad don’t read it. Do not go looking for gossip to fill your day. Do not concern yourself with trivial judgements by others because I don’t.  In other words why stress yourself out with my tiny world?
Rome was not built in a day. It took a lot of people with ideas that were just drawings and dreams. Those very people who got no support except from those that shared the same dreams accomplished a lot.
The people that said don't you think it is sad remained true to that opinion and got lost in the dream that they so resented, and destroyed the written records. This is why historians have major issues filling in the gaps.

And to me a written record is nothing to feel ashamed about, even if it is just a blog.  

Monday, 15 August 2011

Autograph seller v's a Collector

Slowly I am beginning to understand the whys and what for’s of autograph collecting and selling. The 'Big screen exhibition' at the O2 arena promoting movies like 'MIB 3' is ideal for autograph collectors. It was a three day event, but I wanted to see if I could get Jason Momoa autograph from 'Conan the Barbarian (2011)' and David Tennant’s autograph who was promoting 'Fright Night' . Sadly I failed because of the autograph sellers. The autograph sellers surrounded Jason Momoa so fans did not stand a chance. There were no barriers to protect the star just two security guards.  A push and shove nearly lead to actual fans and security getting hurt. So from that incident Jason sent word via a PR that he would not be returning nor doing any further signings. David Tennant had left a message with security staff he would not be doing autographs today also. So the sellers had spoilt it for fans, but not for them. It means people will buy the autograph rather than get it for free. Whilst stars refuse to sign it puts the price tag up on existing signatures.  

On arriving at the exhibit the security guard from the ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ premiere approached me. He asked if Sophia enjoyed the movie and was pleased we had such a fantastic day. We discussed that day’s events and the fact the autograph sellers that harass the stars for several signatures make it hard for collectors. I explained to him the value of each autograph and he was surprised they were selling so high. He also mentioned that Clint Eastwood and a few others now refuse to do autographs. This is understandable, but like I said to the security guard it has now made me even more curious to know more about this side of the entertainment industry.

When you say autograph collector the image is of a young screaming fan, but autograph sellers are far from that description. They wear clothes that need either throwing or a wash. Their teeth are missing and they look rougher than rough. You would honestly believe these guys are sleeping in the gutter. I am uncomfortable around them so lord knows how these movie stars feel.

If such a large sum of money is being made from selling autographs then why don’t they buy a suit and fix their teeth. Or is this all part of the deception of autograph sellers that they do not want to come across as if they are making cash.

As I wandered up to Warwick Davis who was in ‘Harry potter’ & ‘Star Wars’ you could see the stress he was under at another request of his autograph. The man blended into the crowd until the autograph sellers spotted him. The autograph sellers have handfuls of photos and they were slamming them under his face to sign. I with my autograph book approached calmly and asked could you please sign this for me and politely said thank you. He looked up and smiled because no-one else had taken the time to be polite to him. As he made a dash for a door to escape the crowds my heart honestly went out to him. Yes he is a star and he gets paid lots of money, but I feel sad for these people. Then as I walk round collecting autographs from ‘Shawn Levy, Jeremy Irvine, Noel Clarke & Gareth Edwards’ I realise this is all a part and bargin of the fame process, but where are the real fans? Well they are actually watching on because most the time they are children too scared to approach. They, like me have manners and don’t want to intrude. It takes time for them to build up the courage to ask. Mean time the autograph sellers are taking the opportunity to get as many signatures as possible.

When speaking to security I asked is there any way of vetting the crowds so the autograph sellers don’t have full access to all the events. Can’t the security separate the fans from the sellers? He could only say if it was down to him then he would, but in reality it is hard to do. I replied well not from where I am looking these people stand out a mile. He smiled as a gaggle of the sellers clucking to each other walked by.

As I walked home I remember why I started the whole process of collecting autographs. It orginally was not for me, but to give others who raise money for charities a signature that is real and direct from me free of charge of a A lister. The only problem with this is you need to authenticate the signature because people need to know it is not forged or copied. This leads to other issues in fact it is a mined field, but my curiosty to break into this silent world because people are secretive is spurring me on. Not only that, but it is a distraction from my cancer journey.

Director Shawn Levy 'Real Steal'

Friday, 12 August 2011

Cowboys and Aliens Premiere

Yesterday I and my young daughter had a fabulous time at the premiere for ‘ Cowboys and Aliens.’ During the time we were waiting word had got out that we were stood where a mass collection of autograph hunters were planning to push forward. Well I was not going to have any of that especially with Sophia being present.
They had realised that the possibility of Harrison Ford coming over to us was very lightly because of Sophia. They have got adjusted to Sophia coming to the premieres now and know she can draw attend to herself very easily. The plan autograph hunters apply is very clever. They wait at the back and push forward with several photo’s to sign. Then work their way down the crowds getting as many autographs as possible on photo’s of the stars. On chatting to a few of them that are really nice and willing to talk about their experiences. It was explained that the money made from this premiere for a Harrison Ford autograph was no joke. Over in America the autographs are run by gangs it is in league with the selling of drugs. I found this whole conversation fascinating.

So to be smart I called a security guard over and I made him aware of the conversation I had overheard. He went and spoke to the other security and the head.  They put a plan in place to protect Sophia from being crushed.  

After waiting for what seemed like forever in my daughters words. We manage to collect the autographs of Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde. Not only that but they managed to have a little chat with Sophia which made her day after such a long wait. The autograph hunters were kept in line although the odd one tried his/her luck, but me and Sophia had a very pleasant surprise. We were handed tickets to go see the premiere itself. The security guards had taken a liking to Sophia and presented her with the tickets. Of cause there was a little jealousy from the others in the crowd so to keep our tickets safe I told the security guard to hold onto them.

Once the mass rush had moved away I signalled the security guard who held our tickets. I quizzed which way should we walk to get to the cinema screening. He opened the gate right in front of us and said ‘Oh no you come this way.’ You could hear a mass sigh as me and Sophia walked through the gate. People said congratulations and we passed right by Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde on the red carpet. Sophia was so excited and so was I because all we intended on doing was getting a poster at the end, but we had something better two premier tickets.

When we reached our seats a complimentary bag of popcorn and a bottle of water was waiting. Sophia was in her element at just getting a bag of popcorn. After a while The Director and assistants arrived on stage gave a little speech and soon after the starring cast arrived on a small stage and said there little bits about the movie.
The movie was really good even though I only saw twenty minutes of it. Sophia decided the aliens were too scary. So we left after twenty minutes, but when we reached home she was so excited. She burst into the living room dashing up to her daddy telling him of that day’s events.  I guess it will remain in conversation for some time after too.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

We created this monster!

I spent most of last night listening to sirens and watching the news as it unfolded. London as diverse as it is separated into two sections. Those that work hard and those that don’t, the youth’s of today want everything without the hard work involved. The pressure on parents to provide so they fit in amongst their peers is ridiculous. Those parents that put their foot down and say no with the sharp reply ‘Work for it!’ are left with dread. This sharp reply can push the young into the more ugly side of life.
Finding a balance of yes and no when examples amongst politicians are broadcast that greed pays makes me feel sick. I do not condone what has happened the past few nights within London and it’s boroughs, but who are we kidding here. If a politician can strip the system to his/her advantage and not get a prison sentence or even only serve two months on good behaviour shortly after they can sell their story at a profit on others backs. Making a total mockery of the justice system and what it represents. What example are we setting amongst our youths of todays?
 If we as adults are willing to sit and complain amongst our young whilst they watch on. Not showing our solidarity against an unjust system where one rule feeds another whilst we suffer. Then the system and the bubbling pot is bound to explode.

One youth replied ‘I’m getting back my taxes innit!’

I’m sorry my dear but you have not paid into the system long enough to give that reply. You have brought shame on your family and shame on you. What by looting that is the solution to your issues in life? Today you will wake in a worse place than you were last week. By stealing an item worth maybe £100 as made no impact on your life except now you face a scratch on what was a prosperous future. You will look back on your life asking yourself why did I do this? Why could I have not remained home? Or maybe like the politician you may escape any conviction...

To sum this post up how can we as adults lead by example when the examples our young see through the media are what they understand to be the way forward.

We have the youths of today throwing a tantrum on our streets and sod the nanny state they need a slap, but who is going to step-up?

I personally turned to my youngest and said you see these adults in this room. She nodded. You ever do what you see on this television. Do you understand we will beat you... and that is no joke!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Beauty V's The Beast

When I did my photo shoot even when I did the calendar shot in 2010 I still do not see what others see. Those images are not about vanity even though it may look that way. They are about paying off my debts and regaining my independents within a currently strained marriage.
Yes, I am a confident individual who hides behind her voice i.e. I talk a lot, but I am no different to any other women who have gone through this disease head on. My needs are important and I wanted to show my husband look I am still Sarah. I am better than the old Sarah and don’t you forget it. I have become more confident, wiser and not so shallow with my attitude to my own mortality.

Before cancer I would say you know what I’m a background person not a person who poses for a camera. This is because I was told that is the position best suited to me. This is still true because I am comfortable being in the role where no-one sees me. I like to help others, not bathe in the sunlight of false compliments.

Me in red, Brother in middle, Eldest sister in tartan dress, youngest sister
of head back.  
This Sunday gone there were 127 images taken of me in various poses? On returning home I chose twelve that I feel are ok to gain work in a competitive industry. When I placed those images on my FB page it was for my mother to see because growing up I was told I was the ugly sibling. My mother peeks onto my blog every now and then, but she finds I talk about cancer too much. So for her to see those images and invite a neighbour to see them was my way of saying, ‘Look what I have achieved in such a short space of time.’ I am slowly moving away from the doubt which was instilled in me as a child.

2004 I had just discovered I was pregnant
Me and mum chatting in garden..
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I received a card from my eldest sister and all I thought was well I am the ugly sister and now I am going to become even more distorted. Even though I was happy to be where I was Mother Nature wanted to make life harder. I grumbled and burned that card because I knew for me to walk with my head high I had to keep those cobwebs of pain at bay. To me receiving that card was not out of concern; it was to weaken an already weakened and worried mind.

We are born to be who we are we just have to learn that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The beholder is you and once you realise that you are half way there. None of us are Kate Moss because she is Kate Moss. Visually I may think I am ugly, but for some reason I shine. And the shine attracts people with a belief that my shine is beautiful. People may doubt my sincerity and believe I am talking crap, but trust me the most beautiful of people have the ugliest of shines. I know because in this industry you see plenty of them. That is why they are fighting to be noticed. Personally it is not about me being noticed even though that is involved. I just want my debts cleared, but if I gain anything else I know it is because of my journey that I shine hard not because of my looks.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

We Can Excavate the Past or Live For Now...

How I see life and the paths I have walked can only lead to a sense of wonderment to why I am still here. I can look back and if I had walked down a different route who knows where I would be. The flip of a coin or the scale of justice, even karma we all live by at some point. So when I said on my FB page 'I love being me because if I was not me.. Who would be me?' It was me actually saying ‘Hey don’t question just keep walking’.
We do waste a lot of time asking questions. There are questions that really will not make a difference to the outcome. The important answer is straight forward for now we are here. We are at this point in our lives. BC as cruel as it is and life changing can place you on a different path. For some for the better, for others well I bow my head and I try to keep the memories I have of them true to who they were to me.
I am living my life trying to create a catalogue of images. So my youngest can say you know what my mum didn’t waste time on questions or quests. I want her to understand that life is precious along with the time we have together. And that you can have fun with it whether you are in a crowd or on your own. I am living my life for me and sharing my experiences with the few who choose to be around me. The blog is written words or a log to look back at the routes I follow with images entwined.
I cannot live for my husband or yearn for his affections. He is following his path and if he see’s, he see’s. If he does not, he does not. That should not alter or deter me from my own path. If I change I am not being true to Sarah and who Sarah is.
I want people to see you can regain your identity, your path or remain the person inside you always were. There is no new normal just the normality or routine we lost. If you can put aside the questions that are placed there by whatever hurdle you have had to jump. We are experiencing cancer ... not just breast cancer. We have received the biggest wakeup call any human being could face, but for now we are still here.

You, yes you who are reading my blog. Look at you, yes, look at you and look around you. You are not six feet under yet and you’re not going to be for some time. If you have one hour, one month, one year or a lifetime from the whole cancer experience. Live that time, talk, walk, touch, see and feel your surroundings. Don’t shut down; don’t give up on the individual you were born to be. Do not let cancer or any other experience in life you face take control. Yes it is easy for me to say, but I have forty one years you people have not read. What other skeletons do I hide? Bloody plenty that’s what, but who cares I’m here typing that is what is important. Not just the two year journey that has been edited onto my blog.

I have spoken to daddy for many hours now and I took him to the Maggie’s centre. I wanted to show him how I had a choice or a place of solace to go to. Even though I could not talk to others about my various journeys or hurdles I have had to jump since diagnosis. This place gave me the choice to open up or be around others who had wise words I could follow. I feel my journey is less than others, but it was timing, determination and sheer bloody mindedness that helped me discover my BC in time. I and daddy chatted with a staff member about my recovery and how I had found a route of understanding to move forward. We discussed my recent adventures in life that I have achieved and looking forward to. She admired my stance to the whole journey I took and faced. Daddy explained how in Trinidad they had drop in centres and how a stigma was attached with some to these centres.
His wife, Steve’s mother was a nurse when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. And I think it gave daddy a chance to chat about his experience of BC and the journey he took. For that brief moment he felt he could release some steam without upset or questions. We stood and listened whilst he talked which I think helped him because the memories he has of those events are still fresh as yesterday. He spoke how they lived every day right up until she died. There was nothing that he would not do for his wife and how much he loved her. There were no tears just slight tilts to the head with occasional nods from all listening, but time has moved forward he says. It is very true time has stopped for some, but not for me, him or you...
It does not mean I will not face another hurdle in life, but for now I’m on a straight run. When my daughter falls I do not go running to her aid. As a mother you wait for that certain cry that only a mother knows. I walk over calmly and repeat the words both my parents would say to me. ‘Get up, come on get up, dust yourself off, look it is nothing you know you’ll face bigger knocks in life than this, come on!’ I guess those few words could not be more true and more or less I think daddy was trying to say exactly that. We can excavate the past or live for now

Natural history museum, Daddy and Sophia

Monday, 1 August 2011

Strike a Pose..

Yesterday I had a fantastic time on a modelling shoot. No I am not a model and I don’t classify myself to be a model, but for your portfolio to do Acting/extra work you need images and a show reel. So I asked a friend to come with me on a TFCD shoot. These pictures you do for free and you get to keep the images taken on the day.

It was also our BBQ day, so it was a dash out the house pose and head back fast. When I returned home all was sorted and a friend of mine was waiting for me. I had not seen her for some time and we had a lovely chat whilst we ate. It was her first appearance at the BBQ and she was surprised how friendly and warm it was. Whether I agree or disagree the BBQ is an entity of its own. It offers a space where people can get together and network. Everyone has down time and they recognise it has just that. It has now become more diverse with a fresh crowd with new ideas on how the world ticks. Yesterday I was able to mix and chat with others without feeling the outsider. As I say I married Steve not Trinidad his culture has to move with me, not me move with his culture. And finally people are taking their time to see what I am about, not just focusing on Steve.