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 Uneducated Moron

The Uneducated Moron

You may not know this, but I was a bit of an uneducated moron about cancer before my diagnosis. I lived a healthy lifestyle – probably above the average of any normal twenty-something. So my attitude was definitely of the sort “it’ll never happen to me”.

That’s one of the reasons I decided to blog about my cancer. As sick as you may be of hearing me go on about my life with cancer, it may be useful to one person. Hey, you’re reading this, so you must have some interest in me!

So that’s all I care about, sharing my life story so that one person doesn’t need to feel so alone. If it can help prevent someone else needing to go through what I have, too, then great!

Life Exposure

As you may have noticed, my cancer story has had a little more exposure these past few weeks. With my article released on Glamour Online, my cancer patient video for Stand Up to Cancer with YouTube Fights Back and local papers, along with my interview on BBC Oxford Radio about my Beauty Bus venture it has all been a bit chaotic! It is all for the better though, and I haven’t done anything that I haven’t agreed with.

Who Cares?

With cancer, I have come to realise that few people actually care about it unless it has had a direct impact on them. A harsh statement you may think; reading this you may be of the minority where this isn’t true, but most people don’t care about cancer if they don’t see it. Now maybe this is protection, intentional – as a self-preservation kind of thing, or natural – as an unintentional development as humans, but generally, people go about their everyday lives not really thinking of the impact such a devastation has on a person’s life.

Hell, I have no problem with this! I used to be this very person! I didn’t really care about cancer, it didn’t affect me personally, so why should I care? I’d give to charity, I wasn’t completely heartless and I wasn’t rude towards it. I would give my £2/£3 for a slice of cake because I felt obligated to, sponsor a runner £5/£10 again because I felt I should but that’s as far as it would go. I’d be sad if I saw a kids story with cancer, that one I don’t think I’ll ever understand why they ever need to go through it… but by the change of a topic, they were forgotten.

I expected this with my cancer story, to blend into the background. My blog is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to others and their experience with cancer and I’m OK with that. As far as I’m concerned there is more than enough space for everyone to share their knowledge about it. I know how important it is to share it, not just to you the reader, but for the writer too. It is very cathartic letting it all go.

So yes, I will carry on talking about my cancer story because although some may not care about cancer, I still need to talk.

Ask Me Anything About Cancer

There is one thing that is hard to do, I have always been this way. It is hard to offend me. Some people have been cautious when asking me questions about my cancer. This is mostly through fear of me being offended by it being too much of a personal or intimate question. I have no limits though. If there is a question about my cancer that you want to know then I will answer it. It is through education that we learn and by now, we should be comfortable about talking about this subject. That’s just me, however, it doesn’t mean everyone is this way.

But Don’t Assume

I have recently found myself in a couple of situations where people have been extremely insensitive. These people are probably unaware of their actions. They are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things but pretty major when put into perspective. They are general passing comments that you take on the chin, to begin with, and you don’t really think much of it but eventually, it sits and festers. I’m pretty robust when it comes to things like this but occasionally they can set me off course. Even now thinking about it I can find myself in a heap on the floor crying over it. It is not through malice that they have caused this offence but through uneducation. It is something that I am trying to work on myself.

You may wonder why, but the first occasion I just took it, I didn’t have the quick wit to pull them up on it. 24 hours later the damage had been done, that’s all I could think about. One person’s action took the attention away from a magnificent achievement. One person may not do a lot of damage. However, you group together each one person of uneducation and that can do a significant amount of damage. My second encounter with moronic uneducation, I did better. Yes, the comment may have crumbled me but I am proud of the fact I stood up for myself. No aggression is needed to put across my point but an assumption is not necessary when my whole life is basically on the web. Through a few clicks, all the information needed is at your hands.

Educating The Uneducated Moron

I dread to think if I was ever this person… I don’t think I was, however, can you ever really be sure? Although I may have been an uneducated moron, it was more through a limitation of exposure to cancer rather than an ignorance to it. It’s OK to be uneducated through limited exposure, that’s why I’m doing this. I’d rather it be that way! However, ignorance in the sense of it being rude is unacceptable.