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

♂ Baby Blues & Fertility News ♀

IVF Procedure

IVF Procedure

Conceptually, Saturday morning felt like the due-date of my unborn children.  It was a day that I had worked for, poked myself for and was broadly enthusiastic for.  This was going to be the day that the IVF paid off and Steve and I would be able to secure our future family before chemotherapy began.

On our way to the Doctor’s office, I couldn’t help but feel a similar excitement to what it must feel like to drive to the hospital when a woman is going into labor.  Clearly, I recognize that there is a huge difference, but this was an appreciation of birthing our future babies.  The clouds were bulbous and the sky was grey, there was a sort of peacefulness to the day; almost as if it were the calm before the storm.  The retrieval procedure would be the finishing task in the IVF process, and then the port and chemotherapy would begin shortly after and from there I’d be on my way to mending.

Unlike the port and the chemotherapy, we were thrilled about the retrieval and surely interested in the piece of mind that it would reserve for us and the prospective family we would share together.  After all, developing a fertility plan was equally important to Steve and I, as the start of my chemotherapy treatments.  It was an essential enterprise to the point where we placed my health and healing on hold in order to go through the process of IVF.

As I was wheeled to the OR, I recalled feeling differently than I did when I was taken for my surgery on July 1st, where I later received my cancer diagnosis.  This time around I wasn’t nervous, I knew that the outcome would be the product of Steve and I and a creation of something I could fight for.

In what seemed to be minutes, I awoke from my twilight and was advised by the Doctor that everything looked fanciful and a total of five “beautiful” eggs were retrieved.  It felt as though I was being told that my baby had all ten fingers and ten toes.  With the confident news, Steve and I were able to go home and enjoy the rest of our Saturday, even celebrating Steve’s Birthday at our local watering hole later that night, with the company of friends.

When Monday rolled around, my high hopes started to feel a little defeated.  We were expecting a phone call, per the Doctor’s word, to confirm how many eggs fertilized with Steve’s sperm, thus how many that they would be freezing.  Needless to say, when Monday night settled into Tuesday morning and we still hadn’t heard from the Doctor, my optimistic tendencies took a turn for the worst.  Awaiting the official count of our embryos became a nail bitter as the day proceeded and the phone still hadn’t rang.

Ah ha! Finally as the sun was setting, we had received the anticipated phone call from the Doctor’s office.  Immediately I had a pit in my stomach, bracing myself for the news of our future little babies.   As the Doctor proceeded with small talk and how I was feeling since the procedure, I wanted so badly to tell her I had waited for almost 72 hours and to cut to the chase.  Respectfully so, I waited for her long-winded chatter to come to a close and hear what she had to say about the “headcount”.  The sentence started off with “unfortunately” and instantly my attention faltered.  Not more bad news, I thought to myself.  When would things begin to turn around? This was supposed to be the positive in all of this and make it worth going through to begin with.  The Doctor explained that only two eggs had split out of the five and they didn’t appear to be progressing any further.  Yet, they will give it one more day before calling it a futile attempt.

Gasping for air as I hung up the phone, I ran to the living room to cling to Steve.  I felt as though my body, once again, had failed me.  Hyperventilating uncontrollably, Steve consoled me and I, him.  We were grieving for our future together. Nonetheless, despite the unpleasant results of our fertility, we will continue to march forward.  I have trust that we can try again, once my chemotherapy completes.  In the meantime, I will focus on my treatment and myself, and then we can resume the fight for our babies and our family.


Britt x

Right on Target… ➳◎

As I conclude today, I feel a sense of accomplishment.  I have successfully completed the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) shots required in order to preserve and harvest our embryos for our future family.  Thus far, having cancer has been an immeasurable waiting game and I have felt as though we have been stuck in limbo for two months.  Although we have been going to incredible amounts of Doctor’s appointments each day, we have not successfully crossed a milestone within the process as a whole.  Saturday will mark the day in which I will undergo the operation for retrieval of the eggs, in which case Steve will also be required to supply his half (if you know what I mean…).  Needless to say, it’s been a jagged two weeks experiencing IVF, but I am anxious and excited for Saturday to get here so we can officially cross something off of the long list of cancer “to-do’s”.  Everything is right on target…

Love, Britt x

[IVF]- Is.Very.Fun? ⚤

IVF Shots IMG_3993

It’s a difficult pill to swallow, that your ability to procreate on a natural, organic level is in peril and even at times unachievable.  Once I knew that I’d have to go through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) for the means of fertility preservation, many audacious women reached out to me with their stories.  To say that I was converged by their stories would be a muted statement.  Prior to this experience, I comprehended the minimal amount of information about infertility and truly how many women, men and couples alike were affected by it.

Today, as I sat in the passenger seat of Steve’s bumpy Jeep Wrangler, I conveyed how I never imagined having to go through such lengths to have children.  In fact, I always knew I wanted a child (singular), but there was never an emphasis of urgency behind it, as I assumed it would be as easy as one, two, three.  This being my third day undergoing IVF, I am becoming more equipped mentally to the idea behind it, as well as more stable at giving myself a daily shot.  Currently, my shots are limited to one daily, in the stomach.  Lucky for me, I have a bit of cushion in the tummy area so it feels less than painless.  Contrariwise, the residual affects of the shot bring forth heightened emotions and moodiness, nausea, headaches and tenderness all around.  Within the next week, the shots will double, as I will have to have three total shots per day; two in the stomach and one in the back.  Once again, I am going to use the cushion for the pushin’.

Presently, my fertility Doctor appointments are averaging every other day.  The Doctors have to take blood and ultra sounds bi-daily to ensure that all is going as planned and everything is on track with our schedule. The Fertility Dr. and my Oncologist have been in communication and my Oncologist has stressed the importance of time behind my chemotherapy treatments starting, although I am undergoing IVF beforehand due to the affects chemo may have on my fertility subsequently. Being that I have not yet received the results of my PET scan, I found this meridian information to be a tad unsettling.  Nevertheless, I am accepting that “no news is good news”, until my follow-up Oncology appointment next Monday.  Low and behold, I am forming a relationship with the staff at the fertility Doctor’s office and feel contented by their professionalism and amiable guidance.

This process certainly has more pros than con’s.  We’ll continue to manage the shots on a daily basis for the next two weeks.  IVF is certainly not an inexpensive treat; however due to the fact that I have cancer I have not paid a single penny towards this practice.  Appreciatively, my insurance is covering the retrieval (extraction of the eggs), while Walgreens h.e.a.r.t. BEAT program has fully assisted in covering the cost of all the required drugs.  Considerably, this has been the most important item on our agenda, aside from my getting better.  Steve and I want to be able to have the peace of mind that our future family is not at risk and by having expenses covered, this has provided us the opportunity to take charge and safeguard preserving our future.

Retrieval will take place on August 26th, where I will be placed under anesthesia for approximately two hours, while the Doctor vaginally extracts the available eggs.  Once that has been completed, my husband will be responsible for supplying sperm, in which they will then create embryos.  The importance behind the preservation of embryo’s, as opposed to just my eggs, is that we are going an additional step by having the embryo’s examined for Lynch Syndrome, or the mutant gene that I may carry, which is genetic. Lynch Syndrome is a gene in which is an inherited condition that causes an increased risk of cancer.  Due to the fact that my Nan had colon cancer, as well as other members of my extended family, it is assumed by the Oncologist that I carry such syndrome.  To be certain, I will be going through genetics testing in early September for an official determination.  Regardless, it is important for Steve and I to take advantage of the science we have at our fingertips and ensure that the professionals can detect the specific embryo’s that may also carry the gene.  It is vital that we do all that we can to bring a child into this world and take preventative measures for their future.

Perceptive now to how mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting fertility can be, my heart goes out to all of the fervent, avid and valiant women who have gone through this process.  At times it is not always successful, but each person who goes through IVF can appreciate the degree of desire behind doing all that you can to reproduce.   Although I will not be able to get pregnant until at least two years after completing chemotherapy, it is a safe haven knowing that we have babies waiting for us, babies that will be free of Lynch Syndrome and ready to conquer the world.  Bring on the three shots per day and all of the outstanding side affects, for it will all be worth it when I can be called Mom and Steve, Dad.

 ***For more information on IVF, please visit:  http://americanpregnancy.org/infertility/ivf.html

 ***For more information on Walgreens h.e.a.r.t. BEAT program, please visit: https://www.ferringfertility.com/heartbeatprogram/heartbeatprogram.pdf


Britt x