I thought I had nothing to say..

Rambling brain.

That’s my major problem.

I thought “I should really do a blog, haven’t in a while”.. didn’t think I’ve got much to say

I could moan about work, but that’s REALLY DULL, even for me. Even though I actually know something major before anyone else, gotta keep that secret.

Could talk about my non event weekend…. But then I thought “hey, this weekend, you got your sponsorship for brave the shave £40 off target!”

And you know what, THAT *is* something to talk about. So I’m gonna!!

Kristen’s brave the shave page

As anyone who has read any of my previous medical type blogs knows, I’ve had a bit of a run in with a kind of rare form of tumour. I am lucky in that it was operable and removed in one go..along with half a lung I wasn’t really using (as it was busy incubating said tumour).

Also, mum had breast cancer diagnosed at the start of 2014 and we watched her go through op and radiotherapy.

My mate lost her mum late 2014 (only a few weeks prior to my diagnosis) and another mates dad is pretty damn poorly. Someone who is very dear to me is in and out of hospice care as we speak and one of the dearest people is fighting hard against side effects of treatment.

All in, cancer has really fucked about with people I care about.

I do the race for life every year and as long as I can walk, I will do it.  People maybe won’t understand why it’s so hard for me, but see my previous blog about spoons for that.  It is a challenge I relish as it is something I can do to help and raise cash for research.

Shaving my head, well it opens all sorts of cans of worms..

Firstly, I don’t want it to be seen as disrespectful.  I have a choice to be doing this and I know an awful lot of people who have chemo get no choice. I am trying to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Not take the piss.

Secondly, I was so lucky in the fact I needed no follow up treatment and was declared cancer free a month after my op. I really do appreciate what could have happened.

Thirdly, I want to do this. It is something I can do, that is actually pretty scary.
I am quite vain when it comes down to it. My hair is something that helps define me. I’m constantly changing its colour and it signals my mood to people.
By shaving it off on the anniversary of my diagnosis, I am closing a loop and signalling to people that something has changed.

I am mentally going to be different afterwards. Physically would have changed, obviously, but mentally will be crossing a line..

I may have lost the point somewhere there. Bear with me..it may come back.

Anyway.. the original point is that I was quite a way from my target of £500.
I was a bit mardy about it. I would still have done it, don’t get me wrong, but I consider this a BIG thing and would like that to be recognised with a matching donations total.

Well, in steps my sister, my husband and friends of friends.

With a little but if social media magic, I have got donations piling in through the weekend.  From people I don’t know and everything.

I can understand people getting charity fatigued, and it feels like I am constantly after something. But until we beat cancers arse right out of being awful and into being treatable/preventable, I will continue to ask, and still, people gave. It made me emotional.

Then my sister said she would come up and do it with me.

Such a huge thing for me.

I know my family felt so powerless last year for me and this is something that can be done and supported.  I am totally looking forward to it (and not just cos she said she will treat me to an afternoon tea!!!)

So, from having nothing much to say, it turns out I have a little to say.

And it’s this: thank you.
Thank you each and every person. For each single pound. Every one of you from day one to today and beyond.

Sometimes, people are just bloody ace.

It’s a thank you and a recommendation…

My beautiful and wonderous sister treated me to a massage.

Such a simple statement. But let me expand slightly.

My fibromyalgia makes it damn near impossible to get anything even close to a back massage.  (Tried it for a while through my chiropractor and whilst it was lovely having it done, I could barely move afterwards..bruising, muscle seizure and such horrible pain.)

I have been somewhat stressed of late, the last six months being, in all honesty, a right fucking mare.. culminating in the quick trip to hospital for the “not clots” episode.

Work’s a bitch, home life is frantic and buying the house has all sorts of mental repercussions.

Basically, I was frazzled.

I was chatting away to aforementioned lovely sister about wanting to get away from it all for a while and do pampering. We came to the conclusion that money and logistics were against me, but what a lovely idea.

I get a random text from her after we talk saying:
“Do you trust me?”
Well, yes….
Not to cut my hair etc…
“Can I have your bank details?”
Ok… A thousand thoughts cross my mind… But she’s my sister and this is intriguing…
Send them over…

“Check your bank”

SPA FUND DEPOSITED.

Ok, so I did burst into tears a lot… I called her and was still quite blubby.

She had called the Lush Spa in Edinburgh and gone through all the treatments to find one that would work for me.

She had bought me “the spell’

I can’t tell you what this one act of kindness did to me. Having booked it up, having the day to look forward to…Oh, I can’t tell you!!!

So, it mainly concentrates on your feet (which is great, they don’t hurt much) and its based kind of, on reflexology.  There are parts where your head is massaged (cue VERY big hair at the end of it) and it is all done to a wonderful bespoke soundtrack.
Before it begins, you are asked to write down a concern or issue, it gets put into a copper kettle, set on fire and disappears… The whole thing is about taking a step to move on.  Like how perfect can something be for me???

Anyway, as the guy finishes I take the deepest breath I have taken in six months, the pain has gone from the lower levels…I take another deep breath.
Oh my God..I can actually fully breathe!

I had not realised how much tension I was carrying round. How shallow my breathing had been. How afraid of the pain I had become and the lengths I had gone to to avoid it.

I could bloody breathe.

And you known what, I can still do it today.

Yes, I still have pain at the very fullest extent of my lung capacity, but I’m not expecting miracles here.

I even had a fantastic nights sleep.

I do highly recommend the Lush Spa. The treatments may not be for everyone, it’s not a regular day spa experience… But they do go in for some ace holistic approach treatments.

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I also highly recommend having my sister.  She is such a thoughtful, kind, generous person. She has a bucket load on her own plate, but she stepped out and done a surprise (cos I would have said no if she’d asked..) that has had such a surprising outcome.

Anyway, I’m gonna go and breathe some more…

Thanks Kizzywiggle, you are properly awesome you are!!!

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Awh!!!! Sisters!!

Braving the Shave for Macmillan

Yes. I’m doing it.
Lets gets the page link out of the way pretty early on:
https://bravetheshave.org.uk/shavers/kristen-dorcey-joyce/

It has caused a range of reactions from people ranging from crazy to brave.

For me it’s something I can do.

I’m never going to be able to run a marathon and raise mega millions, but I can do small things. Often. The race for life, the coffee morning bake off at the office with the awesome raffle thing. Then this.

Inspired by my sister who did it last year. (She was so scared doing it and totally rocked the whole thing). It is a big thing. But a doable thing … A totally doable thing.

I know the actual campaign does upset some people as they see it as disrespectful to those who have to lose their hair due to various treatments.

I am not doing this to cause offence to anyone.

My background to this is that I’ve had a tumour. I’m alive. I’m giving back to an absolutely essential charity.

Also, I need to do this. This part of it I can’t actually explain that well.

Anyway, it’s a bit of a long way of asking for a donation.

All of this is my efforts to raise money and help those that haven’t had such an easy time of it as I have.

Yeah, I’m just babbling now.  I must get a proper handle on this PR malarkey…

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Any donation is fabulous and I thank you.

‘Are you fit for travel?’

Have been back at work about a month now.
Hell of a month. But I’ve done it.

Boss man calls me and the conversation goes thus:

“Hello, how are you?”
“I’m ok, it’s all ticking over.”
“No, not work, how are you?”
“Oh, I would give myself 75%”
“Good. Are you fit for travel?'”

And that is how I find myself sitting in the first class lounge at Edinburgh Waverly, heading to sunny Hatfield (ahaa) to have an over night for a one hour meeting tomorrow.

12 hours round trip for a one hour meeting.

Also, tomorrow’s morning has turned into some fantastic meet and greet where everyone down south is congregating in Hatfield … To see me..
Freak out. Lets all poke the admin, see what she does.

I’ve just broke a nail too. But remembered to pack my nail varnish, so can carry that off. No worries.

The funny thing is, I used to get so very stressed abut travel. Literally to the point of being trapped in my flat in Chingford, getting a cab to work, lift back home and a cab anywhere else.
I have always been slightly better with trains. I think its where you can get up and walk around a bit and are served food.
And thank God I can afford (or on this occasion have work pay for it) first class.

It may make me sound snobby, but the lounge, the leg room, food, limitless coffee and usually no stressed children. Yes, that makes it better for me. First class all the way baby. I really struggle going in normal class. (Did do four hours to Weymouth last year directly after a trip down from Edinburgh, wow, that was hard going. And coffee cost a small fortune).
Just makes such a difference.

I’m sure I’d like first class in a plane too, it’s just the up in the air that would freak me out…

Anyway, I’m filling in my time now before the ‘rush’ to find platform whatever (still too early to tell) and grab my seat M54… PLEASE let it be a single seat .. I don’t want to share my space.

Still, not stressing. Straight line all the way down.  I am a flat pond of serenity. (They also had gluten free crisps, so I’m a little bit chuffed about that too!!)

London, I’m coming to get you. There will be plenty of swearing. 😜

February dawns.. surgery plus 31 days

Well, there you go. First month of recovery done and dusted.
Its been bloody hard work.  I have no idea if I’m on track, but I know I ain’t dead.
I’ve got sorting my tablets out to less then 15 minutes now…

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No mean feat.

Scar is healing well externally. But I am so bruised and battered inside.  Having 55% of a lung out without the joy of micro surgery is a bugger. 
I feel very well in actual fact, the tumour was making me ill and I didn’t know about it, just all the low grade illnesses and random oddities.
Just so very bruised. And swollen.
It took me a few weeks before I was brave enough to actually get the details of what they did to me. Yeah, that explains the pain in my ribs.

Even when I feel like I’ve been dragged through a hedge by a wild horse, I can’t help but think it will get better. The docs have said three months off work.  I guess then I am a third healed. it can only get better. I have to have patience with myself (not my best skill) and not overdo things.

Currently I know that over eating hurts like stink as it ends up squishing up my insides and makes a rattle happen that is not only unnerving, but a very yukky pain too.  So, little and often..

I am hoping to actually go out today. Trying busses (certain amount of trepidation tbh.) Avoiding people bashing in to me as I navigate princes street (I’m not really thinking about that as I can’t imagine how painful that will be….) But to be out will be great.  AND I plan to get to Lush.  To buy my nephews birthday present..honest!

Hmm. This definitely comes under ramblings. I have avoided gory details of the surgery and wounds and stuff as I know it a bit everyone’s cup of tea, and I don’t know if I’m 100% happy with it. It may come out at a later date. I will warn if it does.

So…time to get dressed in something that is not pyjamas, put actual shoes on and do this thing….