Late Updates and the Beginning of The Beauty Bus

So, it’s about damn time I updated you all on what’s been going on. Thankfully, it’s not been anything sinister but it has taken a few adjustments navigating my way through life again. It’s been a little frustrating having delays, as I have a list full of projects to take on and work to do! All exciting, in the grand scheme of things! Take a sneak peek to the start of The Beauty Bus! It’s a Mercedes Sprinter conversion, and with any luck, I’ll be out and about by the end of the year.

Congratulations, you’ve reached 2 years! …says no one ever

Positively Normal

Has it really been 2 months since I updated you all on what’s been going on?!

In a way, it is a good thing that I’ve been quiet… it means there has not been anything particularly eventful to report on. Life has been positively normal.

Just before Christmas, I had a CT Scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis… my first proper scan since my N.E.D back in May. My previous check-up was a chest x-ray which just gives a brief overview of their concerned area.

I’m pleased to report that all is still continuing to be ok. There is obvious scarring where the tumours were and any “suspicious” nodules that they are concerned with, in particular, the left lung, still appear to be stable.

Stable = Normal

I think that is all I can ask for really when I get to this point. Stabilisation. It’s not an ideal situation but if I can stay this way from now on then at least it means I can lead a relatively normal life.

I asked my oncologist this time if it will get to a point that the gap between scans will increase. At the moment, I’m back for check-ups every 3 months and my only knowledge I have on cases like this is what I’ve picked up for film and tv, like everyone else I guess! I just want to be prepared for the day that she may tell me that the gap between scans will be extended. It may seem silly to you, but it’s my safety net. I may not like the 3 months wait each time but I sure do feel safe having it as opposed to waiting 6 months each time!

Well, it turns out I’m still that unusual case. She couldn’t really give me an answer. In all honesty, I don’t think she expected my N.E.D to continue for this long. I’m not really sure if I’m proud of that or scared… I mean, wahey! Go body! But also holy fuck there’s nothing they can go by.

What was the fucking point?

I’m in a funny place with myself at the moment. In a way, I don’t think I’ve ever been as confident or happy in myself, which is great. If cancer has given me one thing out of all this then I’m glad for that. However, I’m also questioning what the whole point of it all was.

I mean, there’s never really any point to cancer, is there? It chews up your entire life, spits it back out, stamps on it, gets a freight train and runs all over it again and again and again. It’s fucking horrible.

Tomorrow is my 2 year anniversary since being diagnosed. Aside from the obvious – of actually (for the time being) getting one over cancer, I am in exactly the same position I was 2 years ago. If not, worse, because I’m pretty much forevermore, financially screwed because of it.

And I can’t tell you how much that actually pissed me off.

I am very lucky to get to this point in life. It is not often that you get to this position of having your life back after cancer. I’m well aware that I could be viewing a different outlook to life right now, or may even experience it again in the near future. I am extremely grateful for what I have achieved but you can’t help questioning the point to it all.

This time of year is a bit of a challenge at times. It’s hard not to dwell on what has been…

Come February, I’ll be a year free of treatment… so long as February’s chest x-ray comes back ok 🤞🏻 This shit will still continue!

Building a Beauty Bus

In other news, I have acquired a Beauty Bus! Well, in all honesty, at the moment it is just a van but it will become the beauty bus with a bit of hard graft!

You may find it a bit difficult to see the vision I have in mind so I am hoping to vlog a bit more about it when the process begins.

Since my last scan results, I’ve started work again. It is only for a select few hours each week, it kind of sounds pathetic when I actually say to people how many! but It’s all part of the process of building my strength back up. I question if I’ll ever be able to get back to full-time work but I guess only time will tell. Fatigue is still a major issue for me, I can be fine one moment and the next I’ll hit a brick wall of tiredness and I’m done.

But really that is the whole point of my Beauty Bus venture. It’s not only to help others with cancer, but it’s to help me keep going too.

If you would like to donate to the beauty bus then you can do so here please share too!

The Bus Ride

Beauty and Cancer – The start of the journey

It has been a mental few weeks for me since the launch of the beauty bus campaign. It has been incredibly overwhelming how amazing people have been with donations and shares.

As you’ve probably seen, Stand Up to Cancer have launched the video that features me and my story. I didn’t quite anticipate how well that would all go, to be honest. I wondered if I’d be just another cancer story that blends into the background.

It’s funny really, I know everything about vaginal cancer. My statistics, the symptoms, the rarity of it. Especially that last one. I know how rare of a cancer it is. It is literally the lottery of cancers. But you can’t quite grasp onto the concept of how rare it is, no matter how many times you tell yourself its rare, until you get feedback of it yourself from people.

I’ve had loads of messages from people on their experience of cancer themselves or through relatives, how inspirational and eye-opening my blog is, it goes on.

However, out of all these messages only one person has come forward with the same cancer as me. Just one.

Now, I know there will be other ladies out there with the same cancer, most likely in the demographic that they should be in. They may not want to be in contact with me about it or are just sitting back watching. Not everyone wants to talk about their cancer and that’s fine. There is no right or wrong way to go about this.

It just hit me how rare it really is! Which is stupid, because I already know the statistics!

The long ride

I’ve been super busy the last few weeks since my beauty bus campaign launched. I have so many ideas to enforce, to reach my target and steps to take before I get there. The most important one updating my beauty qualifications to include oncology beauty treatments. It is a little sore spot that I have to do this anyway, I already know what they would be teaching me. But I have to do it for insurance purposes.

Cancer and beauty have never really sat next to each other very well in the industry. Cancer always seems to send up red flags.

So I did the course and it went well. However, it has just reinforced my opinion that this stuff needs to be included in the standard curriculum of beauty therapy. I shouldn’t have to be paying over £500 for a course where I already know it all. Especially, as a cancer patient myself. I don’t mean to sound bitter about it, but it’s hard not to when you can see the problems that you are faced with. The beauty industry may be opening their eyes to cancer and beauty as one but it is only really superficial. It needs to go deeper… but I’ll tackle one issue at a time, the first one being getting my beauty bus on the road.

The snooze

I’ve had to take a couple off days to recoup from the course. With it being two days of full-on theory and practical, added to that it being in London, travel has made the days that much longer, I am pooped. Fatigue is a real trier during recovery. I didn’t quite understand the difference between tiredness and fatigue… but there’s a big, big difference. Mostly the fact that my body gives up on me when I’m fatigued. So, I’ve just had to switch off for a couple of days. I’m almost back to my normal self, so I’m cracking on with what needs to be done.

If you’d like to donate to help the beauty bus reach its target or would like to share what I am doing then please do. click on this link to find out more http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/happysmilingcancergirl