Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A Cancer Free Christmas

As everybody will be unwrapping their gifts on Christmas Day, I will be too, already knowing I have received my biggest gift. That is being cancer free.
I am lucky that I will be able to celebrate Christmas in the comforts of my own home, surrounded by my family, instead of being in a sterile hospital surrounded by nurses and machines that will just not stop bleeping!
However, there are people who will not be able to do that this year, whether that be because they have cancer themselves or someone they love does. Maybe for the second or third year running, they may not be able to do that next year either. Perhaps this will be their, or their loved one's last Christmas.
So, as you unwrap your gifts and eat a truly horrendous amount of food, please give a thought to those in hospital for any reason this holiday season, I know I will.
Thank you all for your support over this last year, and I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. I'll be back in the new year!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

An award?!

Last Sunday I attended a Christmas ball with my parents and the rest of the team from the chip shop my parents run, Burton Road Chippy. There's an industry magazine that we are involved in and are readers of which is called Chippy Chat, and this ball was organised by the editor of the magazine Austen (hello Austen if you're reading this!)
My Mum has often shared things on Facebook from when we were raising money for the Race for Life etc. so other chip shops were aware of my cancer diagnosis and had very kindly donated too. Many of these had also been following my blog, and I had many people on the night say how pleased they were to hear my good news.
For the last couple of years Austen has started the event with 'The Golden Chip Awards' which included categories such as 'Best Scraps' which our shop had won the previous year and 'Beyond the Call of Duty'. He came to the last award of the evening and said that he had followed my journey and I'd beaten the big C, and presented me with a 'Remission Accomplished' award!
I was given a standing ovation as I collected the award from the front, and honestly I haven't been that happy in such a long long time.
So to Austen and anybody else who was there reading this now, thank you all so much for your kindness and support that evening. It's made such a huge difference and given me a confidence boost.

Friday, 4 December 2015

When did I think I had cancer??

I'm going to take it back to the beginning when this all started, and ask myself a question; when did I think I had cancer?
When I started to feel unwell I never thought I had cancer, that would be pessimistic. Even though I had lumps in my neck I could feel and see, I assumed it was infection. I can pinpoint the moment when I thought it was serious.
I had an ultrasound scan to see the position and size of the masses. They showed up on the scan screen as massive black circles. One on my left, and another two on my right. That was the point. Right there. I got that feeling of panic rising from my stomach. The doctor then said he needed to go and 'think' about what to do next. I thought I would be having an FNA (five needle aspiration) which would suck out a few cells from the tumour. When I was told I would now be having a biopsy instead, I knew.
Moral of the story? You know yourself, if you feel unwell for no obvious reason for an extended length of time, please seek medical advice. Although it was unlikely that my symptoms presented cancer, it still was.