Friday, 3 January 2014

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me...

January 4th 2014 a year to the day since I underwent a double mastectomy to remove cancer cells from my right breast & prevent anymore cells developing in my left.


So much has happened...  

I'm fully recovered, physically.. Mentally who knows how much longer that's gonna take, maybe forever, but I feel I've dealt with everything the best way I could & can now only look towards the future & the year ahead full of happy, healthy, fun times..

So my diary is already quite full starting with my besties engagement party this Sunday, (Katie it's been a long time coming!).  Whilst I shall be toasting (with water.. it's dry January after all) her new found happiness & exciting future, I shall also be toasting myself for the bravery, strength & stamina that has helped me power through this past year.

FYI for anyone who has over indulged during the holidays!!  Also have to mention again my fab classes perfect for New Years detox & helping to keep your body trim, fit & healthy.
The end of the month my baby turns 3.. Unbelievable how time flies when you're having fun.  He really is the most delightful, kind, bright little boy, who brings the upmost joy to all who know him & especially me.. I am one very proud mummy.
Then we come to March, whoop! whoop! big month for my alter ego (Frenchie) and the rest of Impact's fantastic Grease cast.. Please if you haven't already - get your tickets! as I would hate for anyone to miss out on what promises to be an amazing show!!
Box office 07770 914 425

Then in April my gorgeous family & I are off to the happiest place on earth - Disney!!  Cannot wait to see the look on Harry's face when he actually meets Mickey Mouse!! :)

Summer bringing on more celebrations and to kick it all off in July my big 4 0 !!!! I know I can't believe I'm that old either..

Then August & September 2 of my closest friends weddings!! 

A pretty jam packed year, let's hope all runs according to plan.... And only happy times ahead!

I'm always reminded of the quote "Live laugh love"

Life really is too short and you never know what's around the corner so take it, grab it, enjoy it, LIVE IT!!!

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy year New Year.  Work hard, play hard, look after each other, but most importantly look after yourselves!!!!


Friday, 6 December 2013

Let's talk about sex...

Oh yeah now I remember!  I knew that I had forgotten or lost something I just wasn't sure what it was..  I have been going around this last few months thinking, what have I forgotten, have I have lost something? Now I realise what it is, my libido!  I’ve lost my libido!  Wow!  When did this happen?  Where did it go?  Who stole it?  I don’t know, I don’t know!!! Help!!!! I want my libido back.  I hadn’t even realised that it had gone, but yet I want it back, why? Well because I want to be me.  My sex drive was a part of who I am or was and I don’t want to change, I don’t want to become the person that I don’t know.  

Maybe this is what happens to you when you go into menopause, but the difference is that menopausal women have the time for their bodies and minds to adjust and get used to it, and time to know that it is a natural course of nature, so they don’t make a big deal about the change in their sexual drive, or they are too embarrassed to talk about it.  I however have been forced very quickly into it.  

So it's frustrating, this change in my sexual life, this loss of libido, of "those urges," but if you think about it I've lost both my breasts, I'm constantly worrying, I've not much energy, always tired, hurt in new places, it's no bloody wonder I'm not feeling sexy!!!!!

Now, although husband is loving, patient, and we are both willing to try, I just can't seem to enjoy sex as I used to do.  I am grateful that I am alive and cancer free, but I miss the enjoyment I used to take for granted..  Why did no one warn me that loss of sex drive and difficulty having sex are common complaints among breast cancer survivors.  Fact: More than two-thirds of surveyed survivors reported that they were still having sexual function problems two years after diagnosis, and most described their sex lives as satisfying before breast cancer.

“From the moment the surgeon takes a knife to your breast -- unless you have superhuman self-esteem -- there is an impact on sexuality.” 

So mentally it affects the enjoyment of having your breasts touched during sex because it reminds you of cancer and treatment.  Physically foreplay/sex no longer involves the breasts, (well not for me) and when that's always been an important part of your love making routine - it's hard - excuse the pun!

So even though breast reconstruction restores the shape of the breast, it cannot restore normal breast sensation. The nerve that supplies feeling to the nipple runs through the deep breast tissue, and it gets disconnected during surgery.  In a reconstructed breast, the feeling of pleasure from touching the nipple is lost, and a rebuilt nipple has much less feeling or none, as in my case.  They say in time, the skin on the reconstructed breast will regain some sensitivity (here's hoping!) but probably it will not give the same kind of pleasure as before mastectomy.  So whilst breast reconstruction often makes women more comfortable with their bodies, and helps them feel more attractive and normal on the outside, the inside is still a mass of confusion.

Thank goodness for intimacy, and intimacy doesn't just mean sex.  Intimacy is where 2 people exchange thoughts, share ideas, enjoy similarities and differences, it's when you comfortably share your feelings with each other or empathise with each other's feelings.  It's a sense that you have a special bond joining you together, trusting your partner completely, caring for each other and sharing affection and secrets, your most inner private thoughts - communication is a must!  We have to communicate, and I have learnt that going through Cancer diagnosis & treatment, communication is more important than ever.

If you were to ask me what I think a relationship is based on, I will answer without hesitation. To me, a relationship is based on three things, the first two are very important and without them the relationship won’t work.  The third is unimportant but if you’ve got it, it’s a bonus.  These three things are; Friendship, Trust and Sex.

Looking forward to meeting up with my long lost friend again soon.......... Xxx


Friday, 8 November 2013

What a year.....

Another month passes & as always the C word is still a huge part of my life... only now I'm embracing it, now I'm in control & now I am using the nasty word for a greater cause.  I'm taking advantage of the fact I was ill to spread awareness & help others, if I can save even one persons life then all has not been in vain.

I'm constantly getting emails from other women who've been diagnosed, they've either read my blog, or someone's told them about me & passed on my info.  These women can relate to me, I'm a friend of a friend, similar in age, (under 40, just), with a young family & most importantly I've been through it & come out the other side.  It feels good to be able to give advice & help others, I've never had the opportunity to do something this meaningful before, it's funny but apart from my children, my life feels like it has more purpose now. 

So most of my blogging will be less about me & more about what I can do to help others in our strive towards a future without Breast Cancer.  This will include sharing stories of hope, informative websites & information, but most importantly raising funds to help find a cure for this terrible disease.  

As you all know I'm performing in Grease in March 2014, rehearsals are coming along brilliantly & it's all very exciting.  Tickets have already gone on sale & are selling out like "greased lightening".  Please call the Impact box office on 07770914425 & mention my name.  Saturday matinee is always the first to sell out so if you are thinking of bringing kids get booking now!  It's all for a very good cause, firstly I'm in it :) & secondly we are supporting 2 amazing charities Future Dreams & Breakthrough Breast Cancer.  If you are interested in placing an ad in our souvenir programme/ brochure either on a personal or company level, please contact one of our brochure team, or call Daniel on 07780 602 618.  The show is likely to be seen by 1,500 people over five days and we estimate a total of 750 – 1,000 brochures will be handed out over this period.  THANK YOU!

Whilst writing I have to mention a gorgeous beauty salon in Harpenden my bestie Katie introduced me to last week - Total Looks is a mother & daughter run business & it really is very unique.  They do fantastic treatments, sell gorgeous products & as a very special act of kindness give away free beauty packages to women with breast cancer to help them to feel beautiful & confident during their treatment.  It is the most quaint special place so if you fancy being really pampered & treating yourself call them up for an appointment.

It feels good to know that my treatment is ending, but sadly the guarantee is not.  Whilst I may be at a lot lower risk of getting breast cancer than the average woman with her natural breasts, I'm still in the high percentage of getting ovarian cancer which is a lot harder to prevent.  So last week I was back at the hospital not in the breast clinic this time, but 2 floors down at the X-Ray department having an internal scan, which is not the most delightful way to spend an afternoon.. basically a camera on the end of a long thin stick wriggled around inside you.  Thankfully all was clear & my 6 monthly checks of my ovaries & Fallopian tubes is underway & the concern of needing them removed in the not too distance future is quietly looming.

Then Friday's fun trip out was to Harley Street to have the final stage of my nipple tattoo done at The Nouveau Beauty Group by Karen Betts 
Anyone who is needing any kind of cosmetic tattooing this is the place to go.  Obviously as my tattoo was for medical purpose & I have private health care my treatment was paid for, but not all women are in that position.  So If you have a friend, family or client who has had breast cancer or reconstructive surgery and would be interested in free nipple tattoo reconstruction, they do training days which offers this tattooing for FREE!  Thousands of women have these treatments after suffering from medical conditions, and for these people medical tattooing can help provide a solution to their changed appearance. This treatment provides a replication of realistic looking areola, which creates the illusion of nipple protrusion for clients who have had a mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery.  People coping with illness or disfigurement often feel like they’ve lost their femininity, their confidence, their self-esteem so this treatment really can change their lives for the better – it helps restore appearance and confidence after having to deal psychologically with an altered body image, in addition to the effects of chemotherapy and surgery.  If you would like to find out more about the treatment, which is completely free of charge, please call Jordana at Karen Betts Professional on 0844 801 6838

Big thank you to my special friend Mel who accompanied me today & held my hand as husband had to work.

This hopefully marked the end of my treatment from diagnosis to date, a year in total.  Wow I had to just stop typing & take a moment to reflect with a lump in my throat....

WHAT A YEAR.....!!!!!

Today however I am fit & healthy, I'm singing, dancing, yoga- ing, pampering & blogging!

Keep sharing & checking ....


Friday, 4 October 2013

All things Pink!!

Hello friends sorry haven't been in touch for a while, I have been quite busy and have so much to share this month and it's only the 6th day in... 

My first big exciting news, after 3 weeks of intense, extremely nerve wracking and difficult auditions, we were finally given our parts to play in 'Grease 2014'.  Unfortunately I didn't get Sandy, I can hear you all "ahhhhh shame", but if i'm being honest it was never really mine to get, and as most people who have seen me perform previous will know, I do always end up playing the comic roles, aka the dumb blonde with the high pitched squeaky voice.  (NOT STEREOTYPED)  So get dates in your diaries folks as I will be playing the role of Frenchie in 'Grease The Musical' @ The Arts Depot Wednesday 19th - Saturday 22nd March 2014 with Impact Theatre Company for more information and if any of you know any men with a secret desire to sing and dance I think the male ensemble is still open for auditions!

As always everything I do has an alteria motive normally something to do with Breast Cancer and this is no different, we will be raising money from the ticket sales for 2 charities very close to my heart, Future Dreams and Breakthrough Breastcancer

Talking of Future Dreams and as this month is Breast Cancer awareness month 'PINKTOBER' I feel it's my duty to dedicate my blog to all things Pink, starting with the fabulous lunch I attended last week at The Dorchester Hotel.  'Dream A Dream' was organised by my extremely clever beautiful friend Pippa Collins & her amazing team 'Future Dreams' committee, who together with a lot of wonderful people raised over £265,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer & The Haven  Darling Pippa, Sylvie and Dan would be so proud of all your achievements and definitely read my blog.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is a world leader in Breast Cancer research, and the money raised will go towards research into life saving treatments for secondary Breast Cancer.  The Haven is an amazing place where patients & their families can go for support and therapies that deliver encouragement, strength and real health benefits to aid recovery from a diagnosis and treatment from Breast Cancer.  

Now for the stats:-

Fact: 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop Breast Cancer in their lifetime
Fact: Nearly 12,000 people die from Breast Cancer in the UK every year
Fact: 50,000 daughters, mothers, sisters & friends are diagnosed with Breast Cancer every year in the UK, that's the equivalent of 150 people every day or one person every 10 mins!
Fact: Currently in the UK there are over half a million people living with a diagnosis of Breast Cancer 
Fact: More women than ever in the UK are surviving Breast Cancer thanks to better awareness, better screening & better treatments
Fact: Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) is an early form of Breast Cancer, (it's what I had) sometimes described as Anintra-Ductal or non invasive cancer.
Fact: Early diagnosis saves lives!!!!

I've said it before and I'm going to keep on repeating myself. so please TLC - TOUCH LOOK CHECK  go to the website for more information on how to check your boobies. you can also call the breakthrough breast cancer info line for free on 08080 100 200

Someone said to me when I mentioned I had to write this months insert, "I thought as you're better now you'd finished writing your blog".  I replied it's never finished.. I may be clear from Cancer, with no further treatment needed and no more hospital appointments (apart from check ups), but whilst there are people/women/family/friends around me who are fighting or at risk from this terrible disease, there is awareness to spread, money to raise and a blog to write.

So I'm back to hospital on Tuesday for a check up and next month for 2nd part of my nipple tattoo.  I'm not in any pain or uncomfortableness (apart from lying on my front during yoga), but as always some days are harder than others, and still a struggle mentally and occasionally physically.  I forget about things for a while and then when I collapse in a heap not knowing why I'm so exhausted and emotional, I remember.... 

Whilst writing I want to share some happy news and to say big huge congrats to my besties Lucie & Terry on their engagement, also Jo & Jason on their wedding next month, so much to look forward to..  

Finally a special PINK celebration for my oldest friends Joanna & Mark, on the birth of Baby Angel Mimi yesterday!!!!!!! So so happy for you and cannot wait for a cuddle.  

It is so wonderful to have lovely events to celebrate, it really does put everything into perspective and make it even more important to be healthy and well.

With love & all things Pink !!!! 


Thursday, 29 August 2013

The end is nigh...

I am now the proud owner of a tattoo!!! Ok it's not a cryptic personal message from my beloved engraved in a wreath of hearts, nor my little boys name written in Hebrew script, or even a spiritual meaningful colourful sign with stars, rainbows & the like.. No today I had my nipple tattooed.. ouch i hear you flinch.  Not the nipple itself but actually the area around it (Areola is the correct name).

I think I was more nervous for this today than any of my previous treatments, because I knew I was going to be awake throughout & definitely the thought of a needle, all be it a tattoo needle, piercing a very delicate area that has already got a scar across it, did frighten the life out of me.  That's the problem with the unknown, fear of the unknown is often worse than the fear itself (if you get what I mean).  In my thoughts I had built up this experience to be much worse than it actually was.  

My appointment was in a very nice cosmetic clinic in Harley street, by a lovely lady technician called Karen Betts (  After completing medical & consent forms she then matched up the colour to my natural nipple and drew it on with a lip liner, I then laid down and she began to tattoo!!! I was squeezing husbands hand so hard, crying, trying to zone out, control my breathing and relax all at the same time, when I realised I couldn't feel anything.  Well for most of it, there were a couple of stinging seconds and then it was done. Never have I felt such relief and the bonus prize is It looks like an areola/nipple.  Of course it's still doesn't feel like one (it doesn't feel anything or anyone as I've moaned & ranted about in previous blogs) but if I was to take up glamour modelling or decided for some inane reason I wanted to sunbathe topless (never again tooooo dangerous) I wouldn't look out of place or like a nippleless freak.. At last I look the same as everyone else...ish

Talking of sunbathing I have just come back from a week 'alone' in Spain!! My gorgeous generous kind unselfish husband sent me & I had a blissful few days relaxing in the sun with NO ONE TO LOOK AFTER!!  I mean by this the child was left at home (obviously not on his own) as was the husband & I had some precious quality time with my daddy & then some girly fun with my gorgeous friend Dani.

As I mentioned in my last blog I've been trying really hard to keep healthy & fit, by eating well & exercising, all part of my cancer prevention plan.  So last week I started 'hot yoga' which is amazing!! 
A bloody hard 90 mins workout in a very hot room, but my thighs are thanking me for it (most of you don't know but I have a bit of an obsession with thin toned thighs). is a gorgeous new yoga studio which has opened up 2 mins from my house, so I have no excuse, & I am trying to get my butt there at least twice a week.  

Whilst writing I wanted to take the opportunity to thank a few people (may as well do it publicly).  First and foremost as usual the most important man in my life 'husband' - big huge massive thank you for my 'alone' holiday, and also for being with me every step of the way throughout this tough, emotional, frightening journey. I couldn't of done this or come this far without you.. You are my rock, my hero, my love.

Secondly my parents & inlaws (my other mum), there are no thanks enough for the help, love & support we get from you all, especially with your grandchildren!!! So please know how eternally grateful I am with every babysitting chore, meal cooked & general overhaul of love & affection!

I also have to mention my fab hairdresser Lara ( who cut my hair off last week & as always made me feel like a new woman.. You have truly helped throughout my recovery more than you know, with our make overs & gossip sessions & your help looking after Harry when I've had no one else to ask. 

Lastly & as always my wonderful friends (you know who you are), just a general thank you for always being there, caring & supporting me in all I do.

So as I am nearing the end of this horrific experience, ( just one more tattoo touch up appointment in November & another follow up appoint with the hospital in October),  I can start to reflect on the past year & how it has changed my life dramatically.  

I can maybe start to live again without constant Doctor and hospital appointments, with a better outlook to the future & really start to enjoy all the good things that are coming my way without the grey cloud hanging over.  

However in no means can I slack for even a second when it comes to worrying, checking & helping to bring awareness regarding breast cancer.  It's everywhere, it's affecting more & more women & young girls every day!! It's an epidemic that is taking over the world!!! Male, female, young, old, Cancer doesn't care who you are, only you can care for yourselves and help protect your bodies!! 

Please check your boobs today.. Do it now whilst you're reading this, or in the shower tonight, or for a bit of fun get your partner to do it ;) Please just do it.. you could be saving your life!

Love, peace & healthy boobs...


Ps. Husband is taking part in 'Tri for life' next week, raising money for breakthrough breast cancer so if you want to sponsor him pls go to

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Bikini bliss....

So today I write this in very different surroundings, I've just spent a blissful morning sunbathing on the end of a jetty half way out into the Mediterranean Sea, the warm breeze blowing my hair, & the hot Turkish sun beating down on me...  For the first time in a long while I was able to fully relax - mind, body & soul :)

For those of you interested in the bikini saga, you'll be pleased to know all is ok!!  A sigh of relief - I haven't let the fashionable people down.. Lol. Now don't get me wrong I would have my old boobs back in a heart beat, but as that is unable to happen, 2nd best is feeling happy with how I'm looking whilst sunning myself.  My bikinis fit well (primark rocks) whilst hiding a multitude of sins, my boobs actually look very pert.  A killer cleavage if I do say so myself..  All that worrying in John Lewis & trailing the Internet for post reconstructive surgery swimwear, for nothing.

The weirdest sensation is swimming, for some reason it's quite difficult as my chest area feels very tight in the water & even a few strokes are proving tiring & awkward.  There goes my promise of 50 lengths a day.. Ok so it was 30. I want to say huge big thanks to my lovely pool buddies Hayley & Nic nic for their words of encouragement & flattery every morning as I disrobe.

As you've guessed I'm on my well deserved holiday & having a truly wonderful time, the kids are behaving beautifully & with so much for them to do it's just fab.  The  best bit of all for me is not having to cook or clear up, it may sound ridiculous but for someone with my level of OCD, the fact I can walk away from a table full of dirty plates & glasses is heaven itself!

With only a few more days to go then back home to reality & the continuing saga of my story I have to face my next upcoming event -my nipple tattooing is booked in for a couple of weeks time.  I am generally very nervous about this even though my well inked husband has told me it won't hurt "that much!!!!" and the surrounding area being slightly numb, but with my fear of needles & obviously another trip to hospital (albeit a cosmetic one this time) I'm still feeling anxious & frightened.

Whilst writing this I can't not mention a HUGE congratulations to my oldest friend Sara & her lovely new fiancé Malcom on their engagement!!!  May the coming months bring you strength, hope & an abundance of love.. 

Also for any of you needing a little bit of inspiration in your life right now, including some healthy eating & way of life tips please follow my beautiful friend 'Chica Yoga' on Facebook, I'm using her to help turn my life around into a healthier, happier new & improved me, you can too!

So for now it's back to the sun lounger as got some work to do... On my tan :)


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Titty titty bang BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wikipedia: NIPPLE:-

In its most general form, a nipple is a structure from which a fluid emanates. More specifically, it is the projection on the breasts or udder of a mammal by which breast milk is delivered to a mother's young. In this sense, it is often called a teat, especially when referring to non-humans, and the medical term used to refer to it is papilla. The rubber mouthpiece of a baby bottle or pacifier may also be referred to as a "nipple" or a "teat". In many cultures, female nipples are considered an erogenous zone and it is considered a public indecency to uncover them in public.

It has been 3 weeks since my last op, & during this time I've been getting acquainted with my new body part.. Yes say hello to my little friend... Monsieur Nipple!

You may be wondering why I have taken to using the opposite sex to describe my new papilla, let's just say in comparison to the other one (my own original nip) it looks, how can I put this... BLOODY HUGE! & manly. There I've said it, & now when anyone sees me please don't worry I won't be offended if u want a look, or if I casually find you glancing at the area.. Roll up, roll up come & see the one nippled (is that a word) woman..

Ok I am slightly exaggerating it isn't that bad but compared to the other one, it's very different. But I guess you can't have it all, & I should be feeling grateful & lucky I've managed to keep at least one, & that they've managed to reconstruct a fake one for me. Fake being the operative word.
See above:-
1) no breast milk being delivered anytime soon :(
2) no erogenous zone being found or used anytime soon.. Booooooo
3) no topless flashing anytime soon.. As it would still be indecent for me to get them out in public - yeay 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

Surgery was ok, recovery time was much quicker than before, & after a few days I was pretty much back to normal. Apart from being bruised & a bit battered (physically & emotionally), my stomach was black & blue from where they sucked the fat out. The nipple area is numb with no feeling or sensation anyway so that healed without any discomfort. It was my mind that took most of the assault this time, the healing process is definitely slower up there! but as someone once said to me "it don't go to your boots!"

I think going back into hospital where the first op was performed all those months ago brought back a lot of emotional baggage, not that it had ever gone away, it was just lurking at the back of my mind waiting to make the big debut & cause havoc... which is consequently what happened, home was definitely not where the heart was that week!

My recent bra & bikini shopping expedition was probably not the best of ideas, as the lingerie saleswoman in John Lewis could tell you. A full length mirror, no sexy, stylish, young masectomy bikinis on offer (there is a huge gap in the market if anyone wants to go into business with me?) back to Primarchė it is then... Found 2, great fit, shape & style for a bargain total of £8!

So mentally I'm doing better, physically I'm quite fine, I haven't been back to my Xtend barre class yet, which I'm devastated about but I don't want to push it. I kept off the dance floor at a party we went to last weekend, but - I was there, in a tight fitting dress, very high heels & feeling pretty good - it was dark no one noticed the nipple...

My scaring is pretty minimal (fab surgeon) & the lovely kind people at Bio Oil sent me a free sample :) so I will carry on using it to help improve the appearance of the scars & keep the skin soft & rehydrated, I've also started using it on my face to help smooth & tone, better than expensive face cream.

The next part of my journey is the nipple tattooing which is booked for the end of August, until then here's hoping for a little normality....