Monday, July 15, 2019

Better later than never!

Well well well, talk about a gap, well more like a hiatus , well actually more like a big fat blank!
Happy belated New Year Everyone, what a spectacular  new year it  has been.  I can say  officially that that it's been one year of "remission"!.   I am so grateful and filled with so much joy that I'm still here kicking it loud and proud.

Right updates, my hair's grown back!




Ok for some it's no big deal but for someone who was bald for a year IT"S bloody brilliant (can I say that ? oh yeah it's my blog so Yes!) . Thank you to my lovely friend who sorted out the curls and reshaped the shaggy mess!

Secondly, I've started paddling again with my lovely Dragon Boat Team, I attended two regattas, but unfortunately on the second one I couldn't complete my final paddle as my heart was aching from the exertion , my fellow cancer care buddies said "are you mad? it's already amazing you went back to paddle but to compete?? ", well I'm a tad competitive can't you tell...I just wanted to see how far I could push myself and the answer is push too hard and the body goes "here's some pain, deal with that and next time take it easy dudette"



I started my long walks again, but had to give it up after getting dizzy from the heat so am waiting for the weather to cool down , and yes I'm much much closer to getting my road bike so I can cycle and get my heart, lungs and quads in gear (not to mention the possibility of perhaps getting my bum back... it's still missing, hey I like some junk in my trunk ok!



We're still meeting once a week at Bloomhill Cancer Care for meditation class and a good ol catch up beforehand as the art therapy classes are still not in place. A few members have drifted off to sort out other responsibilities and extended holidays so the ebb and flow of the centre continues. Speaking of art therapy, I did a 6 week workshop with the lovely Helen Bradshaw, and it was tremendous,  I loved every moment of it and discovering so many things about myself and making some great friends along the way, what a wonderful gift.  I now get to attend the open hearted women's network once a month, the energy is awesome!

                                         Open Hearted Women's Network


 As we've become closer friendship wise at the cancer centre,   I get a load of ribbing from my friends of the opposite sex, namely the guys regarding my err social life.. ha ha ha ha.  In an attempt to get me out and about my kids pushed me to get on a dating site to "dip me toes in the pond" so to speak.  Uh... where do I start?  Lets just put it this way, when the guys asked me how one of my coffee dates went, I replied "well you gotta kiss a load of frogs before you meet your prince" . (meaning ... well you know what I mean... ) and the buggers said you mean "TOAD's Dx".. toads !  And the jokes started, with 'what happens if you see a cane toad.....'  and it just degenerated from there... the teasing I have to put up with, makes me grin.   Anyway, I've done away with all that as I just couldn't deal with the cut and dry of the uh dating sites.    As I said to my kids "well that box is ticked, done and dusted,  I did it!" Onwards and upwards

Next to find either latin or ball room classes and try the Drumming Circle , yes it's time to keep ticking off everything on the bucket list, no time like the present!  In the mean time, keep on keeping on . Hugs Dx




Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Begin again


It's been a mixed bag this week, I came back from Brizzie after being invited to go see a show there , had a tremendous time with the "godmother".  She booked me in for an awesome massage, ahhhh it was sooo good, I could go on for ages but then you'd have massage envy and give up reading !

We also went for a yoga class that she does weekly and I was pleasantly surprised as it was Iyengar Yoga and a discipline I was used to, even more surprising was the muscle memory of my body.  Ok don't get me wrong, I still do yoga at home, and follow some of the Yogis online and do between 20 to 30 mins every other day, so I can still groan, bend over and touch my toes  anddddd breathe at the same time! taa daa!  But Iyengar is a stricter discipline and I love all the muscle trembling moments of it, (No not masochistic) it makes me feel alive

the Catherine Tate Show at the QPAC


Which brings me to this, oh oh I can see you all holding your breaths, chill out , I"m fine, I'm still in remission and plan to be for a LOOOooooooonnngggggg time.

I had gone in recently for my regular oncology check up with a quick nip up to the vampire uh I mean hematology nurse for my blood test, this one was quite funny, she said my vein kept running away from the needle, so after a few attempts we moved to the other arm, where the vein there decided to play possum and give it up. 

Ok well minus the black plastic nurse outfit...


Aneeee how, after my chit chat with my long suffering Oncologist ,whom lets face it I've bullied, been sarky to, teased, made jokes about but is still smiling when he sees me, says "right everything is good, levels are normal for you (notice for ME) and I've got something here for you to read and go over.  It's a preventative chemo treatment called POMM" (ha ha ha ha.. stop it) " it's very low doses of chemo in a pill".

 Now in my mind I'm thinking , me and my big mouth, why did I ask him what symptoms to look out for should I be concerned about the cancer coming back,( note to self, kick your bum when you get home) thus he's pulling out the stops and we're talking chemo again.. (cue screeching to a halt sound)



So I ask my usual questions, what does it do, what are the side effects, how long will it be for... two years.. wait what?  TWO YEARS.???.. are you kidding me?  er no and there is that dreaded vincristine drip involved on a monthly basis.  I look at my doc and think, this is not the type of Christmas prezzie I was expecting dude.

This was all before I went to Brizzie so put it out of my mind until I returned and read through the bumpf... wronggg.. should have stayed ignorant of it all.. however the one thing that stood out was wha they called the median of survival for lymphoma which was 5 years.  So when he called me I said, "so are you saying I've got a possible 5 years only to live?! " He say "no not at all, it's just a general median, not based on individuals but on a group"

Now see, those sort of things do play on your mind, and with that I went in to the cancer centre as usual for my weekly get together and to speak to my Nurse there about the proposed treatment.

My Youngest Son and Daughter, at his formal.

There are a few things ....ok ok lets get a wee bit serious ok, pull up a chair and lean forward) . there are a few things I want to be clear about, I have spoken to my kids, they support me in what ever decision I make, and they know I've always said, I want quality of life as opposed to quantity of life. If for example the 5 year mark is the yard stick then I'm doing exactly what I've planned to do, that is to live life now, in this moment, with joy and gratitude in my heart, to know that I will put everything in place first as a consideration to my children (i.e. will, funeral arrangements, my own little collage of pics and music ala love actually heh heh a nutter even beyond the grave) because and I say this with all honesty, death is something we all face, weather it's now, later on in life, tomorrow, one thing is for certain, it's not something we can decide or plan.  It happens.  How it happens as well is truly out of our hands.  If you understand that there is nothing to fear from death, that it's just another journey.  The emotions you feel are due to you leaving loved ones behind, but if you are open and honest and prepare them, then death should be something celebrated, because it was a good life, it was a meaningful life, filled with the entire mixed bag of emotions, experiences and to have had the privilege of living it  and understanding why we are here.

Being a cancer survivor does not define me. in essence I am who I am with another new facet.

 So don't put off tomorrow what you can do now, today, go on that holiday you've planned for for ever, chat up that guy or girl you've always wanted to, dance naked under stars at night (but for god's sake don't let you kids catch you or they'll be scarred for life!) read all the books you want, compete in all the races or competitions you've said you wanted to do, latin dance classes, skydiving, just do it and have no regrets.  Breathe!

 I'll say this I am luckier than most, for that I am eternally grateful.  Stop blubbing, grab a tissue, I'm still here la!
with love and gratitude
Dx





Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Heartfelt Project - Happily Homemade Channel

 GOGETFUNDING for HAPPILY HOMEMADE

As my mate S was whizzing me around in her car in the mountains for some "fresh air" and a "walk" later on (she's determined to be part of my wellness journey) , we started talking about what we'd like to do .  She's an artist so she had some ideas of her own and I had some "production" ideas of my own. We then started to talk about doing something together, but she came to a stop at the side of a road across a lovely old Queenslander house.



We got out of the car and she said "I've got this great OP shop for you to discover!" pointing to the house.  Now mind you, if you scroll back, wwaayyyy back before the whole Cancer and moving episodes, I had started getting more involved with zero waste and recycling.  We didn't really have OP shops in Malaysia then,  Usually we had "bazaars" or "garage sales", so all this was a new experience for me. 

We mooched into the shop, and the ladies manning the counter smiled and said "hi!", of course I went directly to the crockery and glass area, I'm a nut when it comes to all of that!  I found some gorgeous red wine glasses and S said she'd split the glasses with me so we'd have a couple each and could "drink to each other" at our respective houses when we had a drop.. or two.... or.. no no .. that's enough, after Chemo I'm a cheap date, two drinks and I'm two sheets to the wind!


CHEERS BUDDETTE!

 Aaannneeway.. *hic* I also picked up a really cute coffee set, "hey S, check this out, it's just so cute!" I shout out.  She calls back " how much is it?",  I lift up 4 fingers .  "buy it lovely, it's a bargain!"  And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.. (cheesy but apt no?)  I think ,well when my daughter is done with her degree at Uni and wants a place of her own.. (cue huge sniffff.) .. this would do her as well to start off with!



So taking our purchases and thanking the sales ladies, well I told them off for being so nice and for tempting me with all those gorgeous glasses , and the cheeky one said, "come back soon, we always have new stock coming in specially glasses "... Be still my beating heart.  For someone who is not that keen on shopping this was going to be my downfall!!!

We resumed our conversation as we got in the car about doing something and it evolved around selling homemade things at the markets.  After grilling S about how much the stalls or space cost at various markets, I asked her how people could afford it on a weekly basis? Did they really sell that much ?  So I told her about my Happily Homemade project.  See most people post their products on FB or Instagram and wait for a few hits, then  they will also participate in a market or two hoping you get a good spot.  It's hard work if you don't know how to market or advertise your products via photos or videos.  And  it takes a while before you get a following or stable clients.



My idea was simple, create a youtube channel, call it Happily Homemade, have everything catagorised ie. crafts, art, jams/condiments etc so it would be easier for buyers to navigate, shoot the products properly in a standard  video format, so buyers could see the product instead of flat 1 dimensional pics, and do it all for FREE... The only thing was I had to get a crowdfunding platform to kickstart all of this in order to buy the equipment , market it, etc. Hence the  GoGetFunding page.



First of all it's my way of giving back to the community using my skills, secondly it gives me something to do that's worthwhile while I am on my journey to getting healthier, and eventually to get back to work,  and lastly to get out of my children's hair as I'm so in their face nowadays from lack of company!!!  (I am NOT a saddo.. it's payback time, before they wouldn't leave me alone now the tables are turned ha ha ha ha.. I'm just awful I know!)

So with that said could you help with the funding?  Do you or your friends need an easier way to sell homemade products? Could a video link on your page with your product help boost your sales?  And would you be happy paying.... nothing for it? If its a yes, then Please head over to the GoFundMe page and make my day!

Lots of love and light my lovelies.

Dx

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Vlog 7 - Skin care and The Powr of Now





I haven't written for a while, but I have been "thinking" of how to express my thoughts, it's not a blog per se but a Vlog. 

Have a good one all

Dx

Sunday, June 17, 2018

How ya like me now !


                                       YOU TUBE LINK FOR VLOG

"Mum, you really don't need to get a DSLR camera for your vlogs you know " says my son the all knowing 17 going on 35 year old.
"Your smart phone is more than adequate for the job".  He continues.
"Yes well I need to find out if I can get a tripod and a microphone to attach to it as I'm worried it's going to sound tinny and the video will be shaky"   I reply
"Mum, this is a vlog, not a professional production for Pete's sake! there is no need to make it look so polished.  The guys I watch on you tube just aim and shoot with a bit of editing ".. says smarty pants.  "You can just use your editing app on your laptop and later on figure out if the sounds needs to be tweaked"
When did he get so damn smart hmmnnn.??

The producer in me groaning

I had been thinking for a while now of what I'd like to do, I knew I couldn't  and can't go back to work, and that any sort of travelling is out, and what ever I do has to be a minimal stress level type of set up.  I strongly felt that I needed to give back and to help those who were also in the dark like me, in the beginning,  on the side effects of Chemoteraphy.  What to expect in hospital, how to prepare yourself, etc.    A lot of the info is gleaned from other Cancer patients and survivors, nurses and dietitians etc.    Sharing is caring they say and I'd like to do my bit as well.(to a certain point okkaayyy)

So yea, I shot my first vlog intro on my smart phone's camera,  I corralled my daughter to shoot the video for me.  She used the back of a chair she straddled to keep the cam phone stable.  We did it in less than an hour with me stumbling through all the things I wanted to say and having "chemo brain" or "brain farts" as some people put it !  I've bought an art block since with some masking tape and an  artline pen to write the points down that I'll tape to a wall when I'm shooting so when my mind goes "BLANKKKKK" I can do a quick refocus!  Like using an el cheapo teleprompter!! ha ha ha.  which brings to mind the scene from Love Actually.. remember it?

Now to find a cute guy to hold the cards for me too!! he he he

I 've decided that I wont shoot the vlogs in any particular order, just what ever comes to mind that week.  So everyone can flick through and view the videos they feel are most pertinent to them.  Well it would be nice if all the vlogs were viewed but I totally understand!  Plus I was doing some research on you tube to see if I could leave links on my vlogs for people to use as examples but Uhhh .. so many videos too little time.  So yeah lets keep it short and sweet.

Hmmnn with or without glasses to video?

Since I can't drive yet, it's easier to order everything online.  My brother tells me to not believe in  Dr Google!  I'm like "waaahhhtttt"??!!! "neeveeerrrr" !!! (he thinks I try to diagnose myself and my ailments online!! bah humbug)    However I do google a lot of ways to use essential oils, where to buy herbal teas, pure flax seed oil etc. So I'll be sharing those sites as well on my vlogs as well as the other products I use daily and regularly to keep me going.

OOOPPSSS! errr it was to show healthy eating!

Anyway, I do hope you enjoy the vlogs, and get something out of it.  Don't hesitate to drop me a line if you have some questions or suggestions on topics, am all ears. (literally ha ha ha) . take care and see ya on the flip side.
Dx


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Out of the Rabbit Hole and into the LIGHT! YIPPIEEEEE!

"You're so bloody stubborn!" says my bff Peggs over the Phone,
"Yes , I am, look at the dictionary under Dx and it says stubborn cow" . I say
"You know it's for the best right, just get it over and done with" . Says she who's never gone through chemo but loves me anyway
"No friggin way, after the last round (my 7th cycle) there is no way I'm going to go through that again, it's my body, and it's my decision, the end" . I grit out mulishly
"Come on Dx " she says
"I don't want to talk about it, So when are you coming over to visit " I say changing the topic very very quickly
"sigh... let me check my diary, hopefully April" she says

We chit chat a bit more and I know she's not really going to let it go but as I said, I just didn't want to talk about going to do another cycle , or going through the horrible experience like the last time, the nausea, the vomiting the stomach spasms,  aches,  the weight loss and weakness.  I was done.  Did you hear me DOC, I'm done!!!




Yes I did tell the Head Nurse and Doc about my decision, Doc said "Dx, we're going to give you an extra week, you're anemic and obviously need to rest but reconsider please, the dose won't be as strong because of the weight loss and this is the final cycle, lets kick it in the arse" ( I know who I want to kick in the a@#$.. humpf)

A couple of weeks later I'm in Hospital, having my final cycle of Chemo, I told everyone I'd be partying in between the chemo drips, bring on the disco balls and the non alcoholic dwinkies, we'll boogie down till we get told off or fall in a faint on the beds.


PAHHHHTTTAAYYYY

Yeah that was all in my head, I was making like the bestest of the best patient so they'd let me out pronto.  Which they did.

After that it was regular blood transfusions and blood tests to ensure I was ticking along, my final P.E.T scan was in the second week of May, and wouldn't you know it, during my transfusion, my temperature sky rocketed .  Doc walked past me and said, "we're admitting you Dx, gotta find out what that infection is"... LURVERLY, I just love being in hospital.. NOT.   Anyway, fast forward a week later, I'm sent home and am recuperating with bi weekly visits to the Doc until the P.E.T Scan happens.

Talk about a cliff hanger, I had the P.E.T scan (more of the "take a deep breath and hold please,  now breathe normally..)  but had to wait for another week before my oncologist talked to me about the results. anxiety much?   Results day came pretty fast and...... I'm in REMISSION!!!! oh yes I beat the beast folks.  (I would try to do a jig but the body ain't up to it YET)


WAZZUP DOC

What a long road it has been, but the Doc says, "Now's the rebuilding and recuperation period.  You have to watch out as you're aware your immune system is still weak, you have to start an exercise regime to rebuild the muscles that have all gone, (ya do you know where my bum has gone? I seem to have lost it)   you have to start eating properly to gain weight and you have to stop stressing."
   "Can I travel?" I ask hopefully.  He shakes his head, "because the tumour on your lung is taking it's time disintegrating, you'll have to wait till it's gone completely, it's just a dead lump (charming) right now. (He gives me the "look")  We'll talk about radiology in a couple of months time.  Booooo. Oh well as long as I'm healthy and there's no more chemo , everything is blue skies and sunshine.

So because I can't be in large public spaces I spend a lot of my time at Bloomhill Cancer Care.  I have my Art Therapy Classes on Wednesday



as well as  Group Meditation :

Meditation Room  this is a link to the video (for some reason I can't upload it here)<--- br="" link="" nbsp="" to="" video="">

Today however I did a workshop that is provided by the LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER program, I had been given their leaflet when I was going through Chemo at the ADEM CROSBY CENTRE but just wasn't up to it.  Last week the girls at Art Therapy class egged me on so I called up and attended their workshop. Hey, I'm bald, no eyebrows and no eyelashes what have I got to lose?  (Please do not ask about hair in other places like some of my friends do... :-p )

It was a two hour workshop to show us how to take care of our skin, do our make up and to try out some wigs, scarves and caps by they two lovely ladies from The Look Good Feel Better Team

Mary is on the Right and she's the one you'll be dealing with when you book in QLD

All this Skin Care and Make Up once we've tried it on is for us to take home,!

And since we loose our hair, the wigs, scarves and caps are a welcome part of the workshop

After the two hours, I'd learned a lot , not only about Looking Good and Feeling Better but also the women around me who were going through or had just finished Chemo just like me.  Knowledge is power, the more you enquire and talk the more you find out.

So with that I've decided to start vlogging about simple recipes for our shattered taste buds, and tips from my cancer experience.   I'd love to give back to society as they've loved and supported me during my protocol.   I've just got to set up a crowfunding site to purchase the equipment etc.   If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears... hairless ones that is . Ha Ha Ha Ha
Dx







Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Is that the light at the end of the Rabbit Hole?




I was thinking of writing my blog a few months ago when we uploaded all the videos of the blond hair being lopped off, but then I've been a bit pre occupied with the chemo treatments and was in emergency with a high fever (it's what happens when you have a compromised immune system) so was in the hospital for 3 days with blood transfusions and antibiotics , they finally let me out. I must have looked like a missile outta control getting out of there!  Well I was counting my free days, 4 more and I had to go back in for another round of treatment.


Hello it's me!  still alive n kickin at Noosa! 
Reading through some of my texts and letters to friends and family it looks like I've totally lost my sense of humour ( I know I have as I've started posting on Face book political pages... which I never do as a rule!) and it seems that the treatment was my total focus (kinda of hard not to be! but hey there's more to life),  so I took my self to the  cancer centre called  BLOOMHILL
www.bloomhill.com.au   Best thing I ever did.  My designated nurse was fantastic, my brother had arrived on the same day so he came along to and was mightily impressed.   It's situated in the middle of this fab rain forest, the cafe which is on their deck is wonderful, peaceful and you could just sit there sipping your latte and nibbling on your lemon slice for ever.




Whilst we were taking in all this goodness, there was an unexpected cancellation and since I was there I managed to get a reflexology session.  It was bliss, and she dropped some important knowledge on me.   The thing I noticed is as cancer patients, we ask all sorts of people for advice but the best are the nurses and caregivers.  So now I've got something I can do with the numbness on my fingertips which is caused by one of the chemo combos.  You leave the centre feeling calm and peaceful.  Next time I went was for a psychiatrist consult.  Not scary at all, peaceful, lovely cuppa , brilliant view an such a patient calm doc. 

I have yet to go back and use their yoga or massage classes but I will as soon as we've got a rein on the appointments at the hospital  and my weekly chemo sessions.  Oh you want to know how it went with the Psychiatrist?  Well of course I'm mental but then it's a good mental and I'm in the normal zone so far!!!! I'm now closing on the last two cycles of my treatment.  Because of it's toxicity levels building up in me, my hemoglobin and platelet counts get wiped out so I have to go back n forth to the hospital for loads of transfusions.  A big huge thank you to those of you who donate blood and Platelets ( that's you Annie), we couldn't survive without you.



I'm sure my oncologist wished I'd be as thankful to him,  the other day at our appointment before he could do anything i said "look at my eyebrows!", he looked at them and said " err they're nice",  I said are they straight and do they look too dark?"   he said " no..., is there a reason to this? " .  "Yes !" I said, "as part of  an ongoing care for patients, doctors should provide eyebrow and eyelash accessories as part of hairloss due to chemo!", which floored him.  Well it kept him grinning for a few minutes. I have no idea how to do eyebrows, mine were low maintenance when I had them,  so I have to  keep asking my daughter to help out!  Annie finally got me eyebrow stencils, thank god for that, makes life so much easier. Don't even ask me about eyelashes, I'm still staring at the false eyelashes wondering how I'm going to glue it on... knowing my luck it'll adhere to upside down!! eeekkk



https://www.rosettelavedette.com/en/hair-growth-after-chemo/     Hair Growth After Chemo

My Doc keeps reassuring me I'm doing really well, and I'm dealing with it well too.  Huh if only he saw the sobbing, and sulking and moaning I do . (well none of you get to see it cept my kids and brothers... well that's what brothers are for!). Kids more because I love when they hug and hold me and tell me it's OK.  It's been a real ride down this rabbit hole and I've got 5 more weeks to go.

So here's the thing, I think I'm hooked on food porn, my appetite is totally shot to smithereens but with one of my close buddies posting Malaysian Specialties and my family and friends posting all the dishes they're eating, I'm addicted!  Which led me to search you tube for cancer friendly meals... lemme tell you, there is a LOT out there!!!  Let your common sense guide your tummy's path is all I can say.  I've turned into a pesco pollo vegetarian, even the smell of steaks on the grill turn my tummy.  And correct you want a slight tang with your food, so dishes like NOT SO HOT Tom Yum, Pho, fried glass noodles etc are so much more appetising.

Satay

Curry Mee

Asam Laksa

(https://youtu.be/YdD5mXZIjJs)

 (I sent out a distress call to all my close friends for sour plums!).   I've actually been toying with the idea of doing a small vlog on cooking for your self as a cancer patient.... well I might have a go at it once I get the wind in my sails again.


Dried preserved plums!
Anyway just wanted to touch base with you all, thank you for posting all your positive notes on my blog and fb wall as well as my Insta account .  To those who gave and gave for the GoFundMe Account that Annie hosted, thank you from the bottom of my heart ( a little bird told me I had so many of you caring for me) Reach out to me please anytime if you have questions or if you have answers.
Dx