Bald Barren And Boobless

An honest and comical reflection of my journey through breast cancer

Tag: chronic illness

Rainy Days…..

rainy days
I had a good sleep.  As I wake I realise it’s a beautiful rainy Saturday.  I love those days where you don’t have to rush out of bed, and you know you can stay in it to warm to and enjoy the day.

Marc is at work this morning.  I get out of bed, finally, and start pottering about.  I take Sam to the shops and run errands.  When I get home I’m completely exhausted.  I feel so overwhelmed, and then get really snappy with Marc.  I know this isn’t fair, and I’m really sorry.  He understands, as he usually does.  Man I am so blessed.

We have some lunch.  I decide to make a cake as our good friends are coming to visit this afternoon.  I made my famous wheat, dairy and sugar free chocolate cake.  I know you are saying, “What the heck has it got in it?”.  But trust me, it is beautiful.  One day I’ll share the recipe with you.

We had a lovely afternoon catching up with our friends, which was great.  Since I got sick so many friends have stayed away, yet many have stepped up and ensured that we stay connected.  I really appreciate this.

I don’t blame anyone, many people struggle to know what to say and how to be around someone when they are sick.  Can I just encourage you though, it is so much better to say how you feel and support them anyway.  Otherwise chronic illness is a very lonely place.

Sam goes to a friend’s house for a sleepover, Marc and I have a lovely dinner together and watch a movie.  We decide on a comedy, there’s too much seriousness in our life at the moment.

We laugh ourselves silly until our tummies  hurt.  It’s just so fun to let go, forget whatever’s happening in your own life, and laugh.  It was such a lovely night.  They do say the simple things……

Off To Market

MarketsSo today is day 10 post chemo.  In chemo terms, I am past the worst of this round.  I slept okay again, got up and walked again.  I feel sore but I’m telling myself it’s a good sore.

It’s funny, after you’ve been through so much, had so much surgery, treatment, poking, prodding, poisoning, cutting, burning, slicing, the word sore takes on a whole new meaning.  That’s why something as small as telling myself it’s a good sore is so important.

Today I met my good friend Chris at the markets; we had a really fun day.  I’m exhausted after walking around for a couple of hours.

I bought some beautiful new earrings and a hat to hide my scone head.

It was lovely being out and about in society again.  It’s amazing how you hide yourself away when you go through chronic illness.  My bedroom has become my haven, my safety zone, my escape.  Nothing can hurt me there, no one can laugh and there is no judgment, only rest and comfort.

For anyone else this would have been a small day, but it was a big day for me.  Tonight I’ll have a quiet night at home with my pain and fatigue as my companions.

The needling begins….


Friday 20th December

Today is my first session with Amanda for acupuncture. I have had acupuncture before. My body responds well to it.

“So what is it?” I hear you say….   Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the skin – or applying various other techniques to the acupuncture points – to restore balance and encourage the body to heal itself. Scientific studies have shown the potential for acupuncture to be effective in treating many disorders. Acupuncture is effective and safe when performed by a skilled practitioner. Source (Better Health Channel Victoria, November 2011)

The first time I had acupuncture was when I was pregnant with my son Samuel. At the time I was under extreme stress, my first Husband was an alcoholic and drinking like a fish, I was working to support the family, my father was diagnosed with cancer and at the time he was caring for my mum who was chronically unwell with the outcomes of years of metastasised breast cancer.

It was an amazingly stressful time. I was about midway through my pregnancy and my blood pressure was too high. Funny that! I was determined to have my baby naturally so when I was told I may need to be admitted to hospital for the last weeks of the pregnancy I asked what I could do to help myself.

I was told acupuncture may help and I found a lady in the Blue Mountains who agreed to help me. I had 4 sessions, each time I would arrive with my BP at 145/95 or something similar and 45 minutes later I would sail out Zhen like with a reading of 110/70 and this would last for 3-4 days. It was amazing.

The second time I tried it was soon after I married the wonderful Marc and moved to Inner South Sydney. After an old back injury came back I saw a local physiotherapist who uses acupuncture in his practice. I had back spasms that normally took up to 10 physiotherapy sessions to steel, he sorted me in 2 with acupuncture.

So in short, if you haven’t tried it and you are open, have a go! It has been an amazing addition to my wellbeing toolkit. Just in case you are freaked out by needles, it is not like having an injection, the needles are as fine as hairs and do not hurt.

I meet Amanda from Sydney Integrative Medicine, who is lovely. She takes my history and tells me she has just been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s of the thyroidalso wow! She explains that the acupuncture will help my liver cope with the toxins ( surgery, drugs, chemotherapy)  from surgery and treatment, will help my digestive system, and my kidneys function optimally. It will also help me to relax and manage the enormous emotional and physical changes I have been through.

She puts needles literally everywhere, as she does this she explains what each point is for. This I love – I am an information freak. I then lay there for 20 minutes relaxing and allowing the needles to do their work.

The first needles were to relax me and were in my side. I felt immediately like I had had 2 glasses of wine, it was amazing. Teach me that one! I would love to do that whenever required, perhaps a permanent needle implant there would be great.

After the session I feel relaxed, balanced and empowered. I learned a lot, Amanda is very gentle and wise and I feel like she will teach me many things over coming weeks and months.

I will see her again after chemo which starts in about 2 weeks and then probably weekly after that. My next appointment is made for day 5 after chemo begins.

Can I encourage you; if you know of anyone who is going through treatment for cancer, anyone going through chronic illness, anyone coping with ill health or chronic pain, please share this blog, or what you have read about acupuncture. Seriously, it has made such a difference for me and I would hate to think of someone missing out who could benefit. We all deserve to feel the best we can, and to be able to make informed decisions about our own health management.

The hardest thing about cancer is that the treatment can be worse than the disease at times, and at least complimentary medicine supports your body to heal and for you to feel stronger and almost human again.