A BROAD, ABROAD WITH A BLOG, ✈

Hello, my shining moonbeams. It’s been a minute. Within that minute I have entered what I feel to be a new phase in my life, a freeing phase that is catapulted by happiness. For nearly a month, I spent time across the pond and rediscovered my life and the things I want out of it.

To start off, wow. Can I just say – I LOVE ENGLAND! I’ve always known that and I had been there times before, but this time felt different. As most of you know, if you follow my story, I have been on travel lock down since my cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2013. By nature I am a jetsetter. I enjoy being in unknown places, without being attached to my “real” life and the troubles within. When I travel, there is a certain romance to it, a freedom that allows you to be whomever you want and for me, that is living without a terminal illness. I’m able to go back to being me; an adventurer with thirst in my blood for worldly experiences. When I was diagnosed, I felt that one of the biggest losses to having cancer was the fact that I could no longer be as free as I wished to be. My citizen of the world passport would no longer apply and I’d be stuck doing treatment after treatment without an escape. My escape had become writing. If I were no longer going to be able to leave and experience life, then I’d write about it, which I have.

This year, 2015, I vowed to myself that it would be different than the last two, that I would yet again spread my wings and live a little. In the beginning of the year I approached my Doctor and pleaded for some independence from my chemotherapy week after week, to which she obliged and advised that 2015 could be my year of travel with chemo squeezed in between. It was the best news I had heard in quite some time and immediately booked a trip to Hawaii with Steve-O and planned the trip for Nan and I go travel to the UK together to attend my beautiful cousin’s wedding and share laughs and love with the family over there that we don’t get to see often enough.

The trip was so important to me and I wanted to ensure that I soaked everything in. My Nan in her very own way was my wish-granting factory, as she made the trip happen. Being that we were returning to her home town, I was fortunate enough to visit her previous homes, where she grew up, the house she was born in, the hospital she had my Mum and Auntie Bev in, where my Granddad went to college, where the two of them were married and so much more. Being able to experience England through her eyes was more than my hearts desire and something I will never be able to thank her enough for.

There were endless amounts of stories, laughs, fish and chips, tea and best of all time with family on both my Nan’s side and my Granddad’s side.   My roots are in full force over there and it was lovely to get to know that side of myself so much more. The posh wedding of my cousin, which we attended, has built memories that will last a life time, as well as traveling to Chester, Liverpool and all over the Wirral with my cousin’s and their other halves, of course also visiting London with the best company and seeing each and every friend and family member. Howls were had, love was expressed and England will forever hold the key to my heart. Quite literally, as Nan and I locked our love on Albert Dock in Liverpool and threw the key into the River Mersey. Our loved ones can continue to visit us in Liverpool, even though we may not physically be there, our spirit will always remain.

Since I’ve been back I have been reliving each moment in my head and finding it difficult to write about. My time spent there was so special, that it is difficult to express. I feel rejuvenated and feel I have a new sense of direction for my life.   Suddenly gears have started moving upon my return and from that, fresh goals have emerged. I’m super excited about the future and what it holds and as things get closer, I’ll share more deets.

In the meantime, check out some photos from my trip and watch out for some upcoming projects and collabos. Big Kiss x.

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Love, Britt x

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Nan, Granddad and The Beatles, OH MY!

#TheBeatles I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

Growing up in an all-British household, I was convinced during the first five years of my little life, that The Beatles were the British Government.  This of course came before I realized that John Lennon had been shot to death in New York City, five years prior to my birth and that there was such thing as the Royal Family and the House of Parliament, amongst many other things. After all, I was growing up in America, but the initial stages of my childhood were brought upon by British traditions and anecdotes.

Generally speaking,  it may have been the stories I was told from my Nan about how The Beatles hailed from the same region in which our family came from, or how she used to watch them at The Cavern Club before they took the world by storm with Beatlemania.  Imaginably, I have always glorified them because my Granddad had a band called “Cheshire Cats” where he would play at The Cavern Club, in Liverpool, just before The Beatles would take the stage.  Moreover, I have always had a special connection to their music and as I grow older I have the fondest of memories blaring the music with my Nan on the way to Las Vegas, or the time that my Nan, Mum, Auntie and I went to see Beatles Love Cirque Du Soleil and my Nan enlightened all of the songs and their some what political meaning they held at the time the songs were released.  I have always associated The Beatles with my Nan and Granddad and that will be something I can carry with me for the rest of my life.

Yesterday, I believe that I had my most challenging chemo session to date.  The Avastin once again reared it’s violent side effects on my weak body, despite taking the right measures and medications in an effort to avoid such symptoms.  While I didn’t have issues specific to my heart, I did have an incredibly difficult time breathing and each breath was taken with a sense of trepidation, as I felt that with each breath, it may be my last one.  Then began my old friend, the shakes.  My body began to convulse and erratic shaking took place.  As this was happening I was so doped up on medication that the only emotional response my body could retort was to cry in the arms of my lovely Nan.  Silently, I began to talk to my Granddad who is up in heaven and asked him to keep an extra eye on me and instantly within that little whisper, Here Comes the Sun began to play in my mind as I drifted in and out of consciousness.; “…little darling, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter, it feels like years since it’s been here.  Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and I say, it’s alright…”.  The song continued to play, for only my ears to hear and I knew it was a sign from my Granddad that he is watching over me and that everything would be alright.

As the ingenious John Lennon once said, “…we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.”  Thank you to my Nan for always being by my side through the fun times and the not-so fun times, you are my rock, my sunshine and to live in a world without you is unimaginable.  And to my Granddad, you may not be “here”, but thank you for letting me know you are with me, standing by my side, from the other side.   As for The Beatles, thank you for always providing me with a connection to my Nan and Granddad and for always being the chosen voice and sign during my times of trouble and hopelessness.

 “Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup, they slither wildly as they slip away across the universe. Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind possessing and caressing me.” – The Beatles, Across The Universe

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.comI #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.comI #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com

Love,

Britt x

Chemo Round 7- 11/22/2013 VLOG

What a busy week!  Nearly every day this week has been consumed with Doctor’s visits and/or Emergency Room appearances.  Fortunately, even though Doctor’s office trips have taken up most of my week, I have received nothing but excellent news, which I am so delighted to share.  As mentioned in my VLOG, I passed the ECHO/Stress test with flying colors and the CT scan of my heart came back normal.  That said, the Doctor’s have determined that my heart/chest pains is a direct correlation to the Avastin.  Having said that, they put me on a specific type of medication to offset the residual effects of the Avastin and it worked successfully this week during chemo, as I had zero heart and chest pains.  Second to that good news, I saw my Oncologist today and my tumor markers have continued to be on the decline, going from 15 to 10.4.  What this means in the “cancer world” is that the chemo is working!  Holla!  Such a fantastic week, with great news.  Thanks as always for all of the good vibes, prayers and thoughts…it’s all working!

Love,

Britt x

In Fine Spirits

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Today, I am in the finest of spirits.  The day began with an appointment with the Cardiologist, per my Oncologist request that I see a heart Doctor due to the recent issues that have been taking place.  To start, I do not have answers as to what is going on with my heart.  However, the Doctor feels fairly certain that my recent heart issues and symptoms are deriving from the Avastin in which I am administered via my chemo treatments.  It is not uncommon to have such side effects with the heart when on this particular type of medicine, sometimes even causing heart attacks.  Having said that, the Doctor’s main concern is my age, as she normally only sees this type of reaction with older patients.  Apparently this is a rarity in such a young patient, go figure.  Leave it to me to take the scenic route on my way to recovery.  As Robert Frost once said, “ I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Through this journey I am truly absorbing so much about my view on life, my body as well as myself.  Without taking the scenic route, I would not learn eminent life lessons.  After the Doctor’s today, I walked to the dog park with Keg and my Nan.  It was such an undemanding and trouble-free day.  As I sat on the park bench, I observed my surroundings and was in awe of the simplicity and magnificence of the life around me, the blue sky above me and the green grass beneath me.  It’s difficult to feel ill or dismayed when you are in the center of such exceedingly pleasing spectacles that make up this place we call home.

Through this, it has given me the upmost positivity for my current status quo.  The Cardiologist will be performing a stress test and CT scan for my heart next week.  He has also informed me that they found a small cyst on my heart, but to my advantage, the Doctor does not feel that it is a cause for concern or relative to the recent symptoms I have been having.

On a wonderful note, I received a surprise call from my Oncologist today that my once quintupled tumor markers, have declined by more than half.  The markers originally went from 6 to 37 and are now at 15.  The marvelous thing about this news is that it means the chemo, despite it’s hiccups, is working.

I am ready to tackle the rest of the week and the various appointments that I have.  Moving into next week, I will have my chemo and will be on my 7th treatment.  I feel that a little bit of good news can go a long way.  As another poet, Rosalia de Castro, once said,  “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads.  Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.”

 
Love,

Britt x

Chemo Round 6- 11/07/2013 VLOG

WARNING:  No makeup, loads of tears and a shaky voice.  Not my proudest video, but I’m just keeping it real.  Today was filled with some bad news that I may have heart failure/problems due to my chemo treatment.  Watch the video for the full update.

Love,

Britt x