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.

Follow me on Instagram for daily updates: bestillmyheartblog

UKTRIP16

UKTRIP15

UKTRIP14

UKTRIP14

UKTRIP13

UKTRIP12

UKTRIP11

UKTRIP10

UKTRIP9

UKTRIP8

UKTRIP7

UKTRIP6

UKTRIP5

UKTRIP1

UKTRIP3

UKTRIP2

                 UKTRIP1

Love, Britt x

Advertisements

King Size Bed ♡

Hello, December

Happy December, my friends and for those in the states, I hope Thanksgiving brought warmth into your bellies and hearts. It hardly feels like the Holidays, being that I live in the desert and it was a balmy 87° degrees on the very weekend that Arizona and the rest of the country kicked off the holiday season. Don’t even get me started on how quickly this year has passed. I swear I feel as though I have merely blinked and the year is nearly over. I am also aware that I am not alone in that sentiment. However, clearly I am not here to talk weather or how quickly a single year can pass before our eyes. I just figured I’d check in again.

One thing I didn’t stick to this year was my blog; the very same blog that brought me so much delight, with a pure connection with my readers and allowing for a genuine therapeutic outlet. Admittedly, I fell short of sharing many of my experiences of life with cancer, particularly as a person in her twenties. Yet, you all know and have been so patient and understanding in that I have lacked the “umph” to do much of anything at all.

Over the last few weeks, my so-called “umph” has been restored. Not to discount, of course, that all that ails me continues to do so, being no better or worse than my early days on this cancer journey. In fact my current statuesque is a dash on the unsteady side, as my tumor markers are similar to playing Russian roulette; one week they will be extremely low and there seems to be progress and then the following week they have sky rocketed, where boisterous concerns begin to be flown around. When I visited my Oncologist today, we were going over the different elements to my chemo and the method to madness of it all; taking control over my life and my cancer. Pondering whether the designated treatment is doing it’s job and if my tumors are shrinking or perhaps the opposite and my body and tumors aren’t responding to the chemotherapy, at all. In my case, neither one of those scenarios is my situation. Leave it to me to have unruly tumors that are difficult to pinpoint patterns, their plan and very own method to their madness. We’ve been reviewing my tumor markers bi-weekly to attempt to make sense of it all. One week the markers will be incredibly low, which leads to talks of lowering my chemotherapy and even possibly removing one of the five concoctions all together which would allow for more energy. Then the following week the numbers as I have said earlier, skyrocket leaving everyone, including my Oncologist, a smidgen perplexed as to what the actual situation going on inside of me is.

It makes sense though, because just like everything in life, it’s a mystery. I’m not sure that I will ever be able to make sense of my cancer, nor will I ever be able to make sense of my roller-coaster ride of tumor marker results week over week. Instead, my mind has recently chosen to compartmentalize those things and I have been pushing myself to live the life I daydream about, as I have been laid up in bed for the past year and a half. Be brave, push the limits of my pain and makes strides towards healing the mental tolls that cancer has imparted on me. If you were to ask me how I arrived at this ever-evolving place of newfound energy and peace, I’m not entirely sure if I would be able to pinpoint it. However, a little something is telling me that it began with a little appreciation.

It began with reassessing how I was regarding my appreciation for my surroundings; people, things, places, etc. Once I reevaluated all of those things, it was representative of the life I want and that perhaps I had been taking most things for granted. There was a sudden shift in my mental state. My lack of genuine appreciation to the people in my life, the roof over my head, food on my table and even despite my unfortunate health circumstances, I understood that I am still here, breathing and on the journey that is life. It reminds me of a certain quote by Tony Robbins, “[If you] trade your expectation for appreciation, the world changes instantly.” It truly starts right there.

Pushing myself beyond the limits of my pain has been very challenging. Most of 2014 has been spent in the confines of four walls and a comfy bed. I’m sure to some that may sound very lovely, perhaps a vacation from life. However, as I lay day after day, I couldn’t help but begin to think about life and all of the things I had wished for myself and my dreams to capture the world by it’s heartstrings, but then losing everything I had worked for and still wished for.   I had begun to see the world with a different vision and was maddened by all of the things I didn’t think I was capable of doing or having since being diagnosed as a Stage IV cancer patient. Unsurprisingly, that is a hard pill to swallow and naturally, you wish for a new reality, or no reality at all due to the gloomy reality you are currently in. After such a long period of time and some much needed therapy throughout the later half of the year, it was then that a new reality finally began to sink in. For starters, I became more accepting of my cancer, forgiving of my situation and told myself that if I could find a way out of the gloom, I wouldn’t waste another minute being unhappy or living my life on a king size bed. I began to follow the rhythm of my wild heart and push myself to do things that once made me, me. Spending every day in bed is now something of the past, there are new winds in my sail and I am going to be more grateful for the things I am capable of accomplishing, rather than focusing on things I don’t believe I can do. But, psssst – anything is possible and it’s not bad to think you are capable of it all, because we all are. We are alive, damnit.

That said, as we spend the holiday season amongst friends and family, I will not be taking anything for granted and in the meantime I will continue to push myself beyond my cancer and fight for my place and purpose in this world. A PET scan will be taking place next week to try to gain some insight as to what my tumor(s) are doing and if there is anything to be concerned over. I’m a firm believer that what you think about, you bring about – so only good vibes allowed! As I had mentioned time passes so quickly, I am sure December will fly by and we’ll be ringing in 2015 before we know it! There are plenty of fun things planned for this month, so expect some updates sooner rather than later. As always, thank you for reading and continuing to support me so vigorously, it does not go unnoticed.

Just one last thing, thank you to the lovely anonymous reader who sent me this picture today. It melted my heart.

Fan Drawing

Peace and love always.

Love, Britt x

Summertime Playlist

large-2
Music has really been my saving grace, well, since forever. I put together some of my favorite tunes that I’ll be jamming to all summahhh long!

Hope you dig!

PS- New blog post tomorrow about my one year Cancerversary on 07/01!

Love, Britt x

 

PET Scan Update 🐶

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

I deemed the above quote necessary after my last, depressing post.  I heard back from my Doctor and she said that my PET scan came back relatively clear, with the exception to the ovary, in which was already a cause for concern, but not certain that it contained disease.  At this point, both she and the Radiologist think that the ovary merely has cysts from my fertility treatment that took place back in August.

Come Monday, I will have another Doctor’s appointment in which she will then test my tumor markers again, as well as an additional test called, CTC (Circulating Tumor Cells).  To my understanding, there are very few cancers that the CTC can detect, but Colon Cancer happens to be one of them, lucky for me.  So, that said, with the additional test, it should provide my Oncologist with further data to determine why the CT/PET scans and the tumor markers are reflecting such varying results.

Needless to say, I was pleased when she advised me that the PET scan did not have me showing like a light bright (remember those?!).  Anyway, thanks for all of the kind words, support, prayers and love through this whole process, particularly last week as my life reflected that of a wild roller coaster.

New post tomorrow on my experience with The Wellness Community in Phoenix, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community.

Love,

Britt x

Unflinching Differences

#PETSCAN #Radiation #Kryptonite #Cancer #YoungAdultCancer #ColonCancer I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.BeStillMyHeartBlog.wordpress.com

20131025-150023.jpg

Things can change in an instant; good news can turn to bad, happiness to sadness and in the blink of an eye your highest high can envelope your lowest low. Yesterday was a day of highs. I saw my Oncologist and to my surprise she shared optimistic news that my concerning tumor had shrunk to half the size, since the beginning of my treatment. Naturally, I was elated with the news, this left me with great satisfaction that the chemo treatments were proving to be effective and ultimately bestowed a sense of hope in the measures we’ve been taking to kick this cancer.

In addition to my good news yesterday, the Doctor did declare some concern over my remaining ovary, explaining that as of my CT scan this past week, there appeared to be some areas of concentration on the ovary. Further explaining all of the hypotheticals, she informed that it could simply be cysts on the ovary, due to the aggressive fertility treatment that my husband and I went through in late August. Shortly after the fertility cycle concluded, I started chemotherapy, leaving little to no time for my body to heal, this causing possible cysts. On the more alerted note, she also said that it could be tumors forming on my ovary, in which case would leave me “ovary-less”, as surgery would be a necessity.

Clearly, with the worst case scenario news, I thought about the future of being able to have biological children, with the man I love. Immediately I felt as though I had been punched in the gut and left feeling helpless and hopeless once again. After a quick pitty party, I decided that doom and gloom wasn’t a good look and I pulled myself up by my boot straps and told myself to focus on the positive news that the day brought.

For the remainder of the day, I channeled my energy, focusing on the positive and ridding myself of anything that wreaked of negativity. As the day came to a close, I felt accomplished and that things were progressing in the right direction, despite the little nugget of bad news regarding my ovary, but I wasn’t going to get hung up on hypotheticals just yet.

Before my alarm could even go off this morning, I received a personal call from my Oncologist to discuss my tumor markers that were drawn, while in the office yesterday. The Doctor proceeded to explain that when I began my treatment my markers were at a 6. Through the five chemo rounds that I have now undergone, the markers have nearly quintupled and she stressed the urgency of going to the hospital for an immediate PET scan.

So, here I sit, waiting for my scan and I have the worst “scanxiety”, a word I am borrowing from a brilliant woman who knows all too well what the anxiety of scans can be. Now, I am waiting two hours for the radiotracer of radiation to work its way through my ill body, to determine whether or not I will light up like a Christmas tree.

It’s funny how the spectrum of emotions can change so gallantly, in an unflinching manner. Today, unlike yesterday my heart is heavy and my nerves are high. But, I will continue to embrace my reality and stay intact with my positivity, only surrounding myself with love and light.

Updates will follow post PET scan. 💙

Love,

Britt x