Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas 2012 Sale Haul

Sale Haul

It being just past Christmas, I couldn't let the sales pass unnoticed. I popped into M&S and picked up 2 gorgeous scarves. The pale one was reduced to £15 from £40 and the darker skull print was down to £12 from £27. And they are huge! At least a metre square.

I also paid a visit to SpaceNk but they only had a few bits left, after only 2 days!!! I picked up the Stila Seeing Star Smudgestick set from £25 to £12.50, which is a bargain as these are £13 EACH normally so £65 worth here :)

I also picked up the absolutely wonderful & splendiferous Dancing Queen set of lippies by Lipstick Queen. (More about the brand here. ). I paid £19.50 which is a lot if you're used to Rimmel or Boots 17, but LQ retails for £15-20 a lippie normally and it really is the queen of lipsticks! They stay on for aaaages and go on so smoothly with no drying, unlike my beloved Mac Russian Red which flakes off :(

Oh, and SpaceNK being the wonderful shop it is, also threw in loads of sample sachets of Skincare :D

So I'm a happy bunny. Didn't spend too much and I will use everything I bought.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

NOTD 23/12/12

China Glaze Ruby Pumps with stamping: White Konad and Bundle Master plates 323 & 319

Friday, 21 December 2012

Tired, but getting there!

Consultant check-up today and I’m still really none the wiser as to what my treatment is going to be next year. It looks very likely that I’ll have to have about 2 weeks’ worth of radiotherapy and maybe chemo as well but I have to wait until mid-January for a consult with the oncologist to go through the options. I do sort of want the chemo (bleurgh) just to make sure that they get it all so I don’t have to go through all this again!

I did get the pathology report though and it was interesting. I was somewhat relieved to find out that the surgery was worth it as I’d have been a wee bit peeved to find that I didn’t need the radical mastectomy. It turns out that I didn’t have one tumour, but THREE!!! They were Multi-centric, which means that they were in different quarters of the breast with one big 22 mm one and 2 little 10mm ones. Two of them were Ductal Carcinoma in Situ which is non-invasive, but one of them was an Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, which is rarer and it’s that one that will determine my treatment next year as it’s more aggressive. They were all classed as Grade 2 and at Stage 2. The cancer was completely removed with clear margins so the radiotherapy will be to clear up any odd cells that escaped into the skin or surrounding areas.  They only had to remove 2 lymph nodes which were completely clear of any cancer which is a huge relief as it means it’s less likely to spread throughout my body. The cancer was also positive for the hormone receptor which means I can have hormone therapy to reduce my oestrogen levels, throwing me into full blown menopause as I’m still peri-menopausal at the moment. So that’s the educational bit!

Next visit to the breast clinic will be January 3rd to discuss filling up my implant to expand it (Eeeep!) The pump thingy is under my armpit and they inject saline through my skin into it to fill up the implant and I have to have a bit at a time to get a natural ‘droop’. If I leave it too long though, my implant might encapsulate and not be able to be inflated. Hopefully I’ll get a date for the oncologist then as well.

I also had my work Xmas lunch which was nice although I did have to avoid some of the more vigorous hugs as my back and shoulder are still really sore. I’ve been getting out and about as well, going into town to get last minute Christmas things, which is a complete nightmare! I’ve been taking my walking stick as it sort of warns people off and means I can actually get a seat on the bus!  I also got the first of my bras with pockets, which is nice as it has a lace fichu across the top to cover me up slightly. 
 Excuse the tired baggy eyes: still finding it hard to sleep! 

Scar is still really sore, which is weird as the actual skin over my boob is totally numb still. My armpit is in total agony though where they cut the nerves to get to my lymph nodes. I’m using Linden Voss Triple Strength deodorant as it lasts for a few days, to avoid the pain of applying it.  I also had the last waterproof dressing taken off and had the luxury of a bath, which was actually quite scary as I don’t have the strength in my chest to pull myself up and out.  I had to roll onto my knees and then stand up to step out. It was nice being able to give myself a good scrub all over without standing on a towel and using a flannel!!!  I also managed to get my hair washed this week as well, which was so nice. So it’s been an exciting week of firsts and hopefully I’ll be able to take normal things for granted again soon. (Like putting on a bra without having to contort myself).

Christmas Nails this week are Colour Club’s Put a Pin in it with Barry M Jewel Britannia in a glitter gradient.

That's it now until after Christmas. Hope you have a good one and a great New Year!!!

Byeee, Elise


Friday, 14 December 2012

I'm free! (for now)

No tubes, wires or unnecessary attachments visible, now. I went back to the Breast Clinic for about the 3rd time this week and finally had the last drain removed. I’d been draining about 70-100mls of stuff (blood and lymphy stuff) per day and they like it to drop to about 30 mls before they take it out and finally last night it dropped to about 35mls – phew – or I’d have been back on antibiotics and stuck with the drain until Monday. It is a real drag having pipes attached and having to carry around a little baggie to make sure you don’t drop it all and pull it all out (blech).

The pain under my left armpit is going away and apparently that’s where I had the 2 lymph nodes removed. Only 2 out of 47 – I can’t imagine what the pain would be like, if I’d had them all out!!!! The skin is really tender and I’m finding it really tough doing the physio exercises. If anyone had told me that putting my hand on a wall and stretching it up would cause me immense pain, I’d have laughed at them! But I’m persisting – All 8 exercises 3 times a day with 7-10 reps – ouchy!!! And they take forever! I’ve just ordered the DVD from the website as the leaflet is starting to get a bit tatty already. If anyone wants to read up or dontate then the website is here:

I’ve also spent the last 2 days back at home, so that Colin can concentrate on work more and get on from under his feet. It seems weird being back at home, especially as Zedward has more or less had the run of the place with his girlfriend for the last week. I did have to vacuum and clean the loo, but otherwise it was remarkably clean. (Probably because Colin spent last Wednesday turfing it all out as well). I’ve also cleaned out my inbox and 700 emails later, it is empty ;) No real post to speak of, apart from cards and a lovely plant from work. I absolutely have to go shopping next week though as I haven’t bought my Xmas cards and wrapping stuff yet. Something I put off and now it’s nearly too late.  I am really feeling the Scrooge this year as I just cannot be bothered with the whole Christmas malarkey! Mum and Dad are off to NZ this year so we’re seeing them next weekend; Zedward is working right through, apart from the day itself and Buttieboy is off to his Dad’s on Christmas Eve. So Col and I are looking to go out on the day itself, rather than cook and stay in all day.

What else have I been doing, apart from going nuts? A lot of competitions!!!! Those who know me well, know about my fondness for winning things! And this time of year there are about a million and one advent competitions!  I think my RSI is back with a vengeance due to all the entries I’ve made. I have won a few already as well :)

I’ve also finally done my nails – a whole week of bare nails was sending me a bit mental as well. I really don’t know what I’m going to do for the next few months if I have to have intense chemo. I don’t really do well with nothing to do. Someone suggest some sensible hobbies (no piping up about cleaning; Mr Chapman!) please? I do have a mandolin that’s crying out to be learned how to be played but that’s not appealing right now especially with my left arm giving me gyp.

BarryM Gelly in Satsuma with Boots 17 Nail Xtras Crackle. Sally Hanson Hidden Treasures Top Coat.   Quite Christmassy??? (Pre-cleanup - sorry about messy cuticles)

Got my appointment on Thursday to find out results of the biopsy on my lopped off booby so I’ll know then what’s coming up over the next few months. I also have my works Xmas lunch so I can catch up with a fortnight’s worth of gossip.

Speak soon, Elise

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Beautylishious Bags

Beautylishious are run by Harriette & her husband. They are a very small operation unlike GlossyBox, Amarya or JolieBox. You don't have to subscribe, just pay £12 via PayPal when she announces the payment window is open on Facebook.

I got December's as I've unsubbed from SheSaidBeauty and LuxBox now. 

I have received Ayuuri Rose Facial Toner (normally £3.95). I love the smell of this. I use rosewater all the time instead of toner and I like the products on this companies website.

Then there is a small pot of BM bronzer. I may keep this as I don't wear this in the winter. Full size is £8.00 from

A really useful addition is the Vaseline Lip Therapy. £3.49 for the ltd edition Pink Bubbly. Someone will get this in their Xmas Stocking as I don't use petroleum based balm, but it does look so pretty!!

One item I will definitely use is the BarryM polish in Yellow Topaz!! :) There were two other variants; Lady in Red and Diamond Glitter. These are normally £2.99 at Boots.

Finally 2 little sachets in a wee baggie from Green People. Sachets are okaaaaay, I guess, but you don't get enough in them to really test the product out. But I do like the bag cos I can use it for presents ;)

A good bag for £12(inc postage) and its a nice way to try products from companies I've never heard off like Ayuuri.

OMG! It hurts! (D' uh)

First week ordeal nearly over!
I won't lie. It bloody hurts!!!! Then when you get up the next morning, it hurts again. The only time it doesn't hurt is when you are so exhausted by the pain, you eventually sleep for a few hours.

But I digress. I'll give you a brief synopsis of my past week in hell. As you may remember, I had to be there at stupid O'clock on Wednesday. I think there was a member of admin missing as it seemed a bit chaotic. I had a student nurse come and do paperwork with me, then the usual bp, temp, pulse bits. Then my consultant came to scribble on me. I seem to remember Col vanishing at this point. My memory is a little fuzzy cos of the anaesthetic. I had a lovely senior anaesthetist come to talk to me and we did more paperwork, then I finally got changed and the anaesthetist registrar walked me to theatre. I said goodbye to Col at the door and then they prepped me for surgery. Apparently I'm not supposed to remember sitting on the bed while they wired me up and chatted whilst they stuck that blasted cannula in my hand, but I do; so ha!!!

Then thankfully I don't remember anything until about 3 pm. Due to being invaded by Norovirus, there was no visiting until 6 pm. We hadn't planned for that!!! I can't remember much about the visit from Col, apart from him bringing me new slippers. Much of the next 24 hours is a blur of half-sleep, pain and measuring my bloody bp! It was so flipping noisy as well! Trolleys, beds, doors banging! Hospitals must be the worst places to sleep in the world! The next day was a little better. The surgeon came to visit and she prescribed me a sleeping pill (Yeay!), Then the anaesthetist and I got morphine (double yeay!!) I'd been on paracetamol & ibuprofen until then :@ I also had 2 drains stuck in me >\

I was stuck there for another night but thankfully the pill worked. A note about the nursing staff. Most of them were excellent as you'd expect but I did have to ask one if she could wash her hands as she'd just been with another patient. I did feel bad but I can't risk infections now. And I had to wear stewpid thrombosis socks and have the scratchy anti- clotting injection in my stomach (:@) every night!! Sue, my breast care nurse came to see me before I was discharged to hsave a look & fit me with a softie; which is like a toy boob that you can join in to make your chest look even. I need it!  My new boob is tiny and tight and perky! Unfortunately my remaining one isn't :(  So I have to wear the softie to make  them look the same. I can't remember much of Friday and  getting back to Col' s, it's all a blur again. Time tends to blur after a long anaesthetic. I seem to to remember ringing my gp and asking for morphine. I got codeine which is ok but it bungs you up so eat your veg!

Anyway I'm in the bed & Col' s on the sofa. I'm too scared of getting my drains caught to sleep in the same place at the mo. I've had one taken out but have to wait until Wednesday for the next one to go.

Thanks for the kind words, on here, FACEBOOK, Twitter, texts and calls. They are all appreciated. 

Elise  XxX

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Night Before New Boob

Sorry for the crappy title. I couldn't think of what else to call it??? Going in for 7.30am tomorrow. 7.30am???? Hope my surgeons fully awake, cos I won't be!!!!

I've had my first pre-op tablet - Ranitidine, to reduce stomach acids so I don't damage my lungs if I up-chuck under anaesthesia; lovely thought ;)

No pictures today as I'm not wearing make-up, had to take my polish off and I expect by this time in 12 hours I'll still be lying on a table in a tres chic bum exposing gown(or nothing if they're still working on me). 

I'm not actually that nervous about it, probably because all I want is a damned cigarette!!!! The inhalator things are ok. I really do not like the spray as it burns the inside of my mouth, but I still want a real one!! I caved and fired up my E-cigs as they only have nicotine in and they're a lot better. I know it's psychological, but seeing the smoke come out(even if it's only glycerol vapour) makes me feel better and the ones I have contain less nicotine that my 'official' inhalator. At least I'll be trapped on the ward until Friday so I can't keep thinking about running to the shop over the road.

I'm all packed and ready and just watching Big Bang Theory and then it's time to have my last proper bath for a while and stare at the ceiling through the water. Does anyone else do that, or is it just me? I have to keep my top half dry until all my stitches have melted or whatever it is that they do, so I'll just be sitting in water up to my hips  - no showers unless I swathe my top half in clingfilm, and doesn't that sound attractive?.

So that's it for now. God knows when my brain will work coherently enough to write another blog post, possibly next week sometime. And I'm not posting any pictures post-op as that would just gross everyone out, or just be too weird; as I know I have work colleagues reading this as well!

See you on the other side(no, not that other side).




Monday, 3 December 2012

It's the Final Countdown!

Sunday night/Monday morning and I'm tapping away on the keyboard again. It's the nights that are definitely the hardest.Just wish I could switch off the whirring of my brain.

Last week was so strange. It was my last week at work and I posted about some of the students and their lovely gifts. Well, that wasn't the end of it:
Flowers from students

Presents from colleagues
Bless them all :) !

On another note, I went to the GP's to  sign up to the smoking cessation programme as I really need some kind of Nicotine Replacement to get me off the weed. My will-power isn't enough! Only the nurse wouldn't give me any, or sign me up to the programme as:
a) It's the 'wrong time' whatever that means and 
b) I would miss an appointment due to still being in hospital!
And they only give patches, which I'm allergic to, nothing else, despite the plethora of NRTs out there. I actually cried in public for the first time. I'm totally shocked at how unbending they were!

Aaargh!!!! In the immortal words of Meldrew: 'I don't beleeeeeeeve it!'  So I went to Boots and I have my first appointment with them on Monday - no faffing about the wrong or right time or missing appointments. They're quite happy to see me when I can come in.  I can get the sprays or nico-inhalors free as I don't have to pay for prescriptions now.

I've still got a million things to arrange, like a bag for hospital and a bag for Colin's as I'm staying at his to recuperate for a while after surgery. I have to pack a bag for littlie as he's coming to stay as well. I have to remember to sort out his scouts trip and lunches. Zedward will just have to sort out his own lunches and get himself up for work on his own now; well he had to start doing it sometime. Just cutting the apron strings a little earlier than desired, I guess. At least I managed to get rent money out of him for the first time ever! 

Everything at work is done and dusted now, all work marked and returned, all UCAS references written and sent off, but it seems weird that I won't see my office ever again (They're moving next year before I come back.) It also seems weird that I won't have to get up at 7am to put my face on for work for at least 6 months, maybe longer.

I'm not dreading the surgery so much as the recovery afterwards. I really, really hate waking up from anaesthetic and being in pain as everything is always so confusing and fuzzy. Plus the wards are always so darned hot! I thought germs liked it warm, so why don't they keep the temperature down and just give out extra blankets if you get cold? It'd probably save on energy bills as well! 

And then there's Christmas to get ready for! Or not? I've got most of the presents sorted but I stropped out of M & S the other day in a fit of 'I can't be bothered-itis!' I'll follow Colin's lead and buy everything the day before. We're at my mum and dad's for the weekend before anyway as they're flying out to NZ on Christmas Day, so we get to celebrate a bit early. 

Back to the beauty stuff and I've been having a no-spend month (or two). I have too much stuff. I've been trying to empty cupboards and get the place sorted so it's neat and tidy but I think I'm fighting a losing battle as I don't do tidy. But if I don't buy anything for a while, then there should eventually be some space cleared

This is my cupboard over the sink - just a tad full?

Then there's the Ikea drawers:
3 drawers of assorted lipsticks, mascaras, hair things and samples (Eeep - hoarder much?)

I would show the nail box I have but there's 3 Muji drawers full of it and it's hard to get out and photograph. I did get a new nail varnish this week, but that's because I had a couple of voucher for Boots 17 from the Loyalty card machine; one for half -price lipstick, and another for a free crackle with another 17 item. So a lipstick and varnish for £2.50. Couldn't say no really? Wish I had though as it's not very good. It's a new crackle and doesn't appear to have a name on the bottle. \it'd Nail Xtras Crackle topcoat but it doesn't crackle:
I popped this over the Nails Inc. Portchester Square that I couldn't be bothered to take off as everything has to come off on Tuesday night anyway. It's just got a streaky effect but doesn't crack properly. I'll try it again over a brighter colour next time and put it on a lot thicker to see if that improves it.

What do you think?

Anyway, I'll pop on another little blog Tuesday night before my op and then I'll post when I'm feeling well enough to type.

See you all soon.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Smile through the tears

You know, a lot of crap is spouted by the ‘media’ about feral youth and uncaring youngsters etc., and whilst I am sure there are areas of inner cities that are terrorised by these groups, I am constantly unsurprised by just how caring and kind this much maligned section of society is. Since starting teaching in the 16+ sector, these teens (and up) have consistently brought me joy, happiness and pride. 

I have seen them starting as shy first years in their first week of induction, where they are thrown together with others who have nothing in common apart from their age and the subject they want (or are made to)  study. Then I’ve witnessed them blossoming away from the somewhat constricting typical school system. Some of them blossom a wee bit too much away from the discipline and have to be reined in slightly, but never stifled. Then the magic of the first summer holiday happens and they return somehow magically transformed into mature (mostly) young adults, ready to take their first steps into employment or onto higher education. I love being their UCAS referee as I get to read their personal statements which give me more insight into their dreams and aspirations. Then comes their joy at being offered that treasured (un)conditional offer or the offer of a trainee position, or an advanced apprenticeship. Then the realisation that they now have to really buckle down and get the rest of their work up to the desired level.

I know I’m probably on a soapbox now and I do tend to talk too much about ‘my’ students, but then I do have the luxury of being in a job I love, surrounded by amazing colleagues and these great kids(sorry; young adults) and  I was vindicated somewhat today by a really lovely gesture from one group of students

I’m giving up work on Friday, before I start the gruelling business of getting down to beating Terry the Tumour and I won’t see my 2nd years now, apart from the ones I’ve added to my social networks and I’ve been giving ‘farewell’ tutorials to them this week. Today I was surprised when I was presented with this little lot:

 They have conspired with other teachers and themselves to hold a collection and get the presents; apparently they were hidden in the staffroom under my nose at lunchtime, and I have to tell you, reading the card brought me so close to tears. I did succumb at home when I re-read it in private. So if any of 2B are reading this (probably not) then thank you so much; you’ve really made it all worth it!

Back to the medical stuff now( yawn); I had my pre-op assessment yesterday, where I was poked with needles again, wired up to ECGs, had my BMI done(I didn’t dare look) and my CO levels taken.  Apparently cutting down the fags is working as I’ve dropped from a level 4(in 2010) ‘highly addicted’, to a level 2; #’frequent smoker’. I get my nicotine replacement therapy on Friday and as of Saturday; I will be a non-smoker (gulp!). Then my consultant; the wonderful Lucie Jones, measured me up for my new implant and took my consent for the operation next week. It really feels real now and I’m glad I’ve had this time to adjust and say goodbye to my left boob as I know it. I’m going to lose a good third off the bottom of it and I’m going to have to wear a chicken fillet to make sure it’s even in a bra until I have the other one reduced to match sometime next year.  The silver lining though is that I can buy pretty bras without spending a fortune in Bravissimo as I’ll probably go down to a B or C cup from an unfeasibly heavy E cup.

I also lost 2 of my nails this week in a frenzy of Amazon Black Friday parcel unwrapping so have to have a major cut-down, which is probably a good thing as I won’t be spiking my scars with them!! 


I’m wearing 2 coats of Nails Inc. Portchester Square here and I think it suits the new shorter length?

Sorry for the long post. I’ll try to do a shorter one next time and then there’ll probably be a break when I have my op.

Elise XX

Thursday, 22 November 2012


After the disastrous fail of using PVA glue as a base coat earlier this week (involving nails pinging off, in one instance into an old lady's hair on the bus) I decided to re-do them.

This time I used Essie 808 'Skirting the Issue' which I got from Atelier To Go, for signing up to their site here;
Then I blinged them up with some pretty appliqués from Revlon called, appropriately, Nail Lace.


Oh and I went to the GP over my weird dizzy spell, and apparently it's probably a combination of a virusey cold I've got and stress. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

One thing after another!

Why am I writing my blog when I should be at work? Because I now have something wrong with my balance. I had a quick look on t'interweb and it looks likely that I have labyrinthitis. I don't know for sure, because when I rang the GP saying I couldn't walk properly and I had double vision, they offered me next Tuesday!!!!  Or alternatively I can ring up tomorrow and try for one of the emergency slots!!! Gee thanks so much. I'll try not to walk into traffic! 

Lovely Col gave me a lift home at lunchtime after I staggered down the stairs and tried not to bounce off too many students in the carpark.

That's what my head feels like!

Anyway, everything seems to have gone quiet on the BC front now. No appointments until I get radio-active isotopes injected into me for Sentinel Node mapping on the 4/12. Then my big op on the 5th(ugh!) I keep waking up, hoping that everything is a nightmare and it will all go away. I have put all my pretty bras in a bag to take to Oxfam to take advantage of the £5.00 off M& S voucher, as I don't want them filling up my drawer unnecessarily now. I will be able to wear pretty ones again but the sizes will be all wrong, and I want my other one reduced to match so hopefully I'll be a more sensible C cup when this is all done and dusted. 

My weekly mani has gone a bit wrong as well. I thought as I have so many glitters, I would try using PVA glue as a base coat as described here

China Glaze Dorothy Who? with a stamp from the new Bundle Monster plates and Konad Psyche Pink. They're supposed to be blue but they've turned green in the photo.

Only this morning, as I was struggling with my socks, they decided to start pinging off! 
Very neat, but NOT before work please!!!!!!  I managed to quickly re-do them (no stamping though) and got through to lunchtime before re-doing them all a few minutes ago. Hopefully they'll last a tad longer this time.

For the next update(if there's anything to update)I've decided to do a blog entry about me and my hair and why it's upsetting me to think about losing it, than actually losing my boob, complete with lots of 'me and my hair' picture through the years.