T*ts up

I’m not good at asking for help.  It makes me feel vulnerable.  So if I ask for something it’ll mean I’m pretty desperate. I don’t know where it came from or why I find asking for help so difficult, I am fiercely independent, to my detriment at times.

I decided to write about this ‘event’ this week because of the sheer importance of it. Boobs. More precisely, boob checking!

It was about six weeks ago when I first felt a lump, I thought it’d go, I’ve had them before. I kind of forgot about it until someone told me about a radio DJ that was dying from breast cancer, same age as me.

So I made an appointment. I had an urgent referral to the breast clinic which was the Thursday just gone. I didn’t mention it really but I didn’t hide it either, work knew, some friends knew, it didn’t feel like a big deal.

I’ve tried to work out why I refused any support or why I didn’t ask for any support to attend the appointment.

I think actually that I am a victim of my own ‘mindfulness’. Something that I have practised for the best part of 3 years, living in the moment, not worrying about the future, concentrate on now, don’t stress about what you have no control over.

I’m fine I said, It’ll be fine, I’m fine to go on my own.

The nurse calls me in and cops a feel. Normally when I have had cysts before they are fairly reassuring straight away, she made some noises that it ‘could’ be a cyst but she seemed to be investigating for a long time. We need to send you for an ultrasound and a mammogram, we may need to do a biopsy, she said. I stayed in the hospital gown. There is something extremely vulnerable about hospital gowns isn’t there? I go to a tiny room with six other women who look absolutely terrified. The statistics tell us that one of us isn’t going to get good news today. Nobody really talks, most of us look at our phones.

I’m really beginning to wish that someone was with me, I have only just realised that in the next thirty minutes my life could change, I could be told I have cancer and I am here, on my own.

Stupid.

The mammogram was done, I must be lucky, it’s my third and I don’t find them to be painful at all, though there’s nothing flattering about being semi naked having your arms up and your boobs squished into the shape of toast into what looks like two vertical petri dishes while the young glamorous nurse takes pictures of you while instructing you to ‘put your chin up’.

I then go back to the small room and what seems like a VERY long time I get called in for an ultrasound. When I have had these before it’s always been a nurse but she calls in a ‘doctor’. I am immediately alarmed. Doctor?! Hi, he says and introduces himself, I take no notice of his name, I’m wondering why he is here. A doctor!! This is huge he says, this cyst is a big one. A cyst, I say. A cyst? Does that mean I’m ok? Oh yes he says but it’s a big one! While I am engaging my brain to become relieved I’m not going to die yet he asks the nurse to ‘pass the syringe’ over and as she does he says ‘not that one – the bigger one with the large needle’…. Erm, what are you doing?? I say! Just taking the fluid out he says. Is it going to hurt? Not really, he says. I lay there as a needle is put into my boob and into the cyst and 30ml of liquid appears in the syringe. It didn’t hurt, much.

I get up and thank the staff for their amazing empathetic and professional care, I go off to work promising myself that I am going to look after my body so much better from here on in (btw 21 days off the booze!) whilst also reminding myself it’s ok to ask for help sometimes, it’s ok to ask for support, I don’t need to do everything on my own.

Our NHS are bloody brilliant aren’t they, we are so lucky, it’s not perfect and it’s so under funded but when the resources are there its amazing.

I do have one gripe though, during my appointment the nurse kept referring to ‘women nearly 50’ and ‘menopause’.   I have no idea who they are referring to!!

Anyway you females out there, check your boobs please!!!

Happy Sunday xx

 

daisy

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Dear Tes

I havent written to you for a while on here.

I saw this sculpture that was shared with me online by a friend … it initially took my breath away…. I’ve never seen anything that conveys what it’s like to lose you with so much honesty, passion and painful truth.

I look at it and it’s how I feel in a mirror image. A strong exterior.. but with a huge hole of grief right in the middle that spreads into every other part.

Recently I feel it most when I’m walking on my own. In the woods. I feel the leaves crunch under my trainers. I look at the height of the trees where a branch occasionally cracks under the weight of a hidden squirrel or a busy crow. I’ve learnt to fill my mind. It helps. But this is usually the quietest part of my day where I can’t always dull the ache in my stomach anymore.

I miss you and yet those words seem so weak and pathetic because of course I do. We all do.

I dont know why sometimes for days and maybe like now for weeks the cloud hovers. It’s not pelting down large rain drops or particularly black. It’s just above my heart making it harder to find anything really interesting or worth bothering with. It’d be so easy to get under the duvet and stay there but I don’t. I have always feared what would happen if i did. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t.

I was asked this week how I’d coped after losing you. I answered in a rather convoluted way because there’s no quick answer. As usual I feel guilty as i speak. For just being able to say that I found a way.

I finish the question by saying I never wanted to survive your loss by just.. surviving. There’s little point in that. I’m living. It’s bloody hard at times but I’m living. There’ll never be a day that I wish you weren’t living it with me too.

Love you Tes. In my thoughts and my heart. Every second.

Mum x

Love to you all too this Sunday x

(Sculpture – Melancholy, Albert Gyorgy, Geneva)

Love wins! 

It’s been a bit of an odd week. Some disappointments. Some adjustments. Still no closer to knowing when my house is ready. Still no bed! The result was a tiny weep with mum as we drank an Americano at the park.

An arm around my shoulder from mum made it better. Then throughout the week I indulged in that love around me to pull myself out of feeling a bit sorry for myself.

The most thoughtful present from two young colleagues in work, a belated birthday present of a crafted work of my family. Made me cry again though! A family visit to watch my nephew play football. His proud face looking towards us after scoring a goal. A friend’s husband who ferries her over one evening so we can catch up over sauvignon  (and the friend of course!). An apology that makes it all ok again. Watching the ladies tennis final cuddled up on the sofa while the rain drizzled. Meeting the older nephew after school and devouring his freshly made chocolate brownies. Then having an early tea with him and my son at the local Italian.  A dash around the charity shop and finding a chunky mirror that I just ‘need.

 
So despite the low mood and the tears that started the week off there was so much else in it to make it good. It’s amazing writing it all down because sometimes you don’t see it all when things seem dark.

Love wins!

Happy Sunday everyone xxx

Speak up! 

I’ve never really been one to be quiet. As a toddler I’d be organising who sat where at an imaginary tea party and as a teenager I’d  march up to anyone who dared to be horrible to my little brother. Teachers included. Mouthy some may have said. Protective and learnt  survival tactics l say.

 
When I took my A levels at 23 and the English literature lecturer asked if anyone would like to read a part… my hand was always first up. The young ones looked at me mostly with amusement and that look of ‘teachers pet’ as I got into the swings and throes of Pride and Prejudice.

This week I’ve noticed that lots of people think but don’t vocalise their thoughts. I was at a  meeting where the majority of the room felt it wasn’t productive (ie a complete waste of time) but everyone got up and said thanks. 

And left. 

Saying nothing. 

I said something. I couldn’t bare to see the waste of resources and time and not say anything. I had several emails and conversations with other attendees who were livid, angry, despondent.

Yet they said nothing.

Why is it so hard for so many to put their hand up, to ask a question, to give their opinion. Why do we sit quietly even if we  know the answer? Why don’t we risk asking a question even when it’s really important to us?

I think a lot of people are scared, lack confidence or are too self critical to speak up.

Frightened to get the answer wrong.

Silent.

Isn’t that worse than not saying anything at all?

Happy Sunday everyone xx

Is it ok? 

I was walking up a huge hill this week when my phone rang.  Amazing really as phones do not ring in my village, signal is as scarce as someone who will admit to voting for UKIP.  Anyway, the phone rang and as I got my breath back and panted terribly rudely down the phone I had a chat with my mate.  During the conversation I was asked for my view on ripped jeans.  Is it ok to still wear ripped jeans she says?  Said friend is 10 years younger than me.  Like everything, I gave it a lot of thought and said in my opinion for my age ripped jeans are ok as long as the rip is on the thigh and the rip is quite small, a big no no for me is ripped jeans at the knee.  Purely personal of course, I just don’t like my 40yr old plus knees being on show like that!!  We had a laugh about it.  She said I should write a blog on it!!! I said I can’t do that – I can’t write a blog about ripped jeans?! 

But here I am writing a blog about ripped jeans.  More than that writing a blog about friendship, ripped jeans and the fact as women we still seem to be considering whether it’s ok to wear something or not?!  I was a bit surprised at myself.  Even though we joked about it, I realised that I had actually given quite a lot of consideration to the ripped jeans wearing debate much to my friends surprise as I relayed the pros and cons! She later text me to say she’d decided against said jeans, putting it down to an issue with, in her words , ‘fat poking through’. 

 

So why as women are we still wondering if its ok to wear something or not! As International womens day fell this week on the 8th March women should at the very least be comfortable to wear what we like. So I’m going to try to give less attention to my slightly wrinkly knees and more attention to giving confidence to the body those knees belong to!  

 

To finish, during a week to celebrate women I want to thank all of you women and all of you people out there that love and celebrate us women. Thanks for catching up over lunch, a phone call, a message, your hugs, kisses and love. Thanks for being in my life and helping it to be, incredibly, a beautiful place. 
Happy Sunday 
Dwys X 

Bye bye X 

Quite possibly this is the hardest blog/article I’ve ever written.
It’s with a heavy heart that I’ve decided this is my last blog for Dear Ms.

 
Life has taken a curve and it feels this is the right time for me to stop.

 
I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to the following people.

 
To everyone who commented and liked and believed, you won’t know how it felt to put my life out there only for strangers and friends to give it love and support.

 
To those that ENCOURAGED me to write and even to those that were criticial because both lots gave me confidence to be me.
I want to send love and thanks to new friends that I have only met through blogging on facebook and wordpress.
I’d like to give hugs and affection to people that have messsaged me privately in despair and anguish hoping for some insight. I don’t think I always gave you what you needed but I spoke from the heart and with integrity. I hope your paths are more optomistic and encouraging. Message me anytime.

Lastly I’d like to …. I don’t know where to get the words from inside…. But I’d like to say to those that have found themselves in the same unbearable boat as me….. I want to say thank you for sharing and you are the only people that will ever understand what it’s like to lose part of your future. You’re the only people that know how hard it is to wake up every day and face the battle. On Friday night as I wept a little, someone said nobody sees this side of you, it’s not hidden but the truth is grief isn’t popular!

To end I’d like to say what I would’ve written about this week. I spoke to a GP in work who was suffering from a cold. Take some echinecea I said (it’s a herbal remedy) and he shook his head. I take echinecea as soon as I get wind of a cold and it never then turns into a cold. He’s a GP and what he knows is conventional medicine. Despite feeling ill and getting numerous colds he’d rather shake his head and not entertain something that he does not know.

 

What I say is – don’t turn your back on what you don’t know. Don’t judge something that you do not know. Take a chance. Take a risk. Love constantly. Be yourself. Stand up for what you believe. Don’t always strive to be popular – be you. Be passionate. Most of all BE YOU. Be kind but don’t compromise who you are. Be a good example. Learn. Care for.

 

Thank you so much. I’m indebted to those that have supported me to be myself without judging me and I will honestly love you always! Please keep in touch xx

 

Have a fantastic Sunday. A fantastic Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. FOREVER.

 

Much love always.

Dwysan xx