#BSMHB – 1st VLOG of 2016

Happy New Year!

The last month of 2015 proved to be crazy — to say the least.  Here’s a little re-cap of everything that went down with my operation and how I am recovering, as well as what’s up for 2016.


Always,

Britt x

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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

PET Scan Update 🐶

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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

The Thing Is…

I should kick off by stating a fact; a pretty crier, I am not.  So for what it’s worth, my advance apologies for the moaning face in which is portrayed in the above video.

A woman found out today, after eight years of battling cancer, that she is now cancer free.  The look on her face, the sound in her voice and her smile from ear to ear illuminated the sense of triumph and resilience that she must have felt.  Her feat with cancer had finally concluded and with a warm embrace, everyone in the chemotherapy clinic clapped for her, cheered her on and collectively shared her victory against the disease that we are all there battling.

On the contrary, as I sat in the Pepto-Bismol colored chair, I felt as though my surmounting crusade against cancer would never come to a close.  I felt elated for the strong, brave woman whom had fought tirelessly, but reluctantly felt that I would never have the same sensation of cheerfulness in being cancer free.  The thought of ever standing in front of the other patients, gallantly disclosing that cancer would no longer be a part of my life seemed like a hard-wearing disillusion.

Something in me today could not face the blinding light of what my future looks like.  Everything about the future, my future seemed like a hard one to know.  The aspects of my life in which typically are marked in stone, slowly chipped away today and my spirituality was shook to the core.  Questioning the why behind my condition and knowing that I may never know the answer as to why this is all happening, left me cross, cold and the logic that I typically hold, washed away as though it never existed in the first place.

In the quiet of my mind, I can’t help but beg to understand why each and every person in that chemotherapy room has to go through such pain and suffering.  The darkness descended and I relished in the unbearable thoughts of the unknown.

I’m sure anyone who goes through something life altering has questions as to why.  I know I am not the only one.  I can only hope that there is a bigger plan in place.  Something astounding that will make this all worthwhile.  I’m not looking to be rewarded for the endurance that this is taking, but merely looking for my purpose and the purpose that this disease has in my life.

Until next time…

Love,

Britt x

Acceptance…💝

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Acceptance is demarcated in a few assorted variations.  One being favorable reception; approval.  Another being the fact or state of something being acceptable.  When it comes to family members coping with a loved one’s cancer diagnosis, acceptance from family members may be one of the most difficult things to do.  No one wants to believe or accept that his or her loved one is ill and a coping mechanism is non-acceptance, while rejecting the notion of the illness is much simpler than the alternative.

With a cancer diagnosis, particularly with a family member, comes many feelings; shock, disbelief, fear, guilt, sadness.  It goes without saying that no one is ever prepared to learn that their loved one, whether it be their child, mother, father, brother or sister, has a life-threatening disease.  Combatting the acknowledgment of the illness is only a buffer to delaying painful feelings.  Often, with the denial factor of conceding the cancer derives from feelings of lack of control, as trusting someone else with a family member’s life is fear provoking.

Through much research, I have come across many articles, which showcase that non-acceptance of a family member’s diagnosis is not uncommon.  In fact, it is relatively more common than the substitute of the family accepting the diagnosis right off the bat.  Particularly in parents, acceptance takes greater length of time.  Parents often blame themselves for their child’s cancer, with feelings of preferring to have the cancer themselves, rather than their child.  With this comes many questions, “why?”, “what could I have done differently as a parent?”, “why me, why us?”, “why my daughter or son?”.  The first part of accepting a loved one’s prognosis, specifically a child, is accepting that there may never be an answer to the questions of what caused the cancer and why.  Secondly, finding a reason as to why this happened isn’t necessarily going to change the fact that it happened and the outcome.

Many family members find themselves feeling isolated emotionally and find it difficult to properly emote.  The good news is, you are not alone.  There happens to be a slew of ways to learn to accept the diagnosis of a family member and ways to ensure that the dive into reality takes place in a copasetic fashion.  First and foremost, don’t be afraid to express your feelings, talking to other family members and/or the person who has been diagnosed in an open dialogue may serve as great therapy to know that you are not alone and as a family unit, you will all work through the unbearable news.  Don’t shy away from a good cry session.  Crying is known to psychologically give your feelings a good airing and is thought to be a healthy tonic.  Additionally, the use of a support group for family members and parents of cancer patients is a bountiful form of beneficial healing and often allows the family members to feel like a part of a community and more connected to the in’s and out’s of the disease itself.

Once the family member lets go of the anger, guilt and other innumerable emotions that come along with the territory, the shifted energy may be used to help themselves, their family and their loved one battling the grave disease.  Face forward with your beloved and know that they appreciate having you as a part of their unshakable support system.  Know that the person with the cancer recognizes that people compartmentalize things differently and while some family members accept the news and take charge, others may take time to come around to the new normal.   Don’t go at it alone, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and identify that your acceptance towards to the cancer will mean the world to the patient, even if it takes a while to arrive there.

This post is dedicated to one of my favorite people in the whole world, you know who you are.  Know that you are not alone, and I know that you are always here for me no matter the situation.   I love you to the moon and back. x

***If you or someone you know is having trouble accepting a family member’s diagnosis, please check out the below resources:

Online Support Group:

ACS (American Cancer Society) has an online site called the Cancer Survivors Network that family members can join. Another option is the Association of Cancer Online Resources.

Local Support Groups:

The National Cancer Institute offers a searchable site to look for cancer support groups and organizations for family members. ACS provides links to similar resources.

Helpful Articles:

Love,

Britt x