Friday, 2 November 2012

Beauty & the Breast

Yesterday I was diagnosed with breast cancer

 Not what you usually read on a beauty blog??

Even though I haven't been the best of bloggers; too infrequent, too reliant on website descriptions etc, I am going to try & improve, in the name of education.

Breast Cancer is NOT a death sentence. In fact it wasn't even mentioned once yesterday. The focus was on treatment & reconstruction; how to get me back to normal as soon as possible, in fact.

Yes there were tears,especially when the doctor said the 'mastectomy' word. Eeeep!
The doctor and the nurse were the best ever team I could have had tell me the bad news. No beating about the bush, just 'Yes you have cancer, and this is how we will deal with it'

I've decided to change the focus of my blog now. I'm still going to talk about beauty products,hair and nails, but there will he a very personal slant now. There may be somewhat of a dear diary feel to it and there WILL be days when I won't post, purely because I will feel too crap!

I'm probably going to tell you about the search for the comfiest post.-op bra, the best cleanser & moisturiser for burnt & irradiated skin, how to cope with crapped out chemo-face and gross shadows under my eyes.

And I want to hear from other fighters, cos that's what we are; not pansy ass victims, about how they cope, what happens when the hair falls, when the steroids give you moonface (not looking forwards to that- ulp)

I might not have all these treatments, but the nurse told me that as I'm young, the treatment WILL be very aggressive!!

I hope I don't upset anyone but I don't want you to file that mammogram appointment under 'must get around to sometime'  or only have a feel when you remember. I couldn't feel my lump as it was buried in my ducts, but please, please have a good feel at least once a month, the week after your period as thats when they're not so naturally lumpy or sore. I had a letter inviting me for an early mammogram as they are now starting at 47 in Warwickshire, and it has literally saved my life as I would probably not survived an extra 3 years at the rate it's growing; 5cm when scanned last month and 6cm this week.

A final word, but by no means an afterthought; I got married on Monday to my long-term partner of 10 years, Colin and he is the love of my life. He is now, and will always be, my rock. I think of the practicalities and he deals with the emotions. I can never really vent or breakdown, but when I see him with tears in his eyes, it loosens the burden in my chest as if I have somehow transferred all my sorrow and pain over, leaving me free to deal with the physical crap. I do feel bad that he feels that he can't do anything, but he doesn't realise that he IS helping me. He gives me hugs when I need it, tells me that it won't matter about scars and an ugly boob and doesn't laugh at my silly ideas and fears.

My mum and family have all rallied around via text, phone and Skype from Cyprus, London, Glasgow & New Zealand. My new stepkids have sent me beautiful flowers. This is my Circle of Support and they will rally round and help brighten my life when things go dark.


  1. Oh hon, I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Think you are right to refuse to look at it as a death sentence. This is something you can deal with, and many women do on a daily basis.

    We are all here for you whenever, and however you want us.

    I know Simply Yours do mastectomy lingerie xx

  2. So sorry to hear your news Elise. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Hugs from all your MSE & NPAA friends xx

  3. Your attitude's amazing Elise, and you'll get through this :) I've recently started working in Medical Physics, and the techniques they use for breast radiotherapy now are so much better than they used to be, and far less women have adverse skin effects.

    Congratulations on your wedding :)

  4. Keep smiling Elise, we're all here for you.

  5. One of the most important people in my life has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer too. She had her mastectomy surgery a fortnight ago and is due to start her chemotherapy in just over a week.
    I hope that you, just like her, can find strength in the support of those around you-never has there been a more important time to find yourself surrounded by friendship and love.

    Congratulations on your wedding-I'm sure that you will have a long and happy marriage.

  6. Oh my!! I think this is the most comments I've ever had on a blog post & I am really touched by them.

    Thank you for your kind words and I'll be following up with another post on Thursday after my latest appointment.

  7. Elise I am watching my Mother fight this same battle, I have been with her through each and every step, we lost my Dad two years ago to the day she was told her cancer was back for a second time. The diagnosis, the chemo , the heartbreaking morning her hair fell out, the weight gain due to steriods. We talk we do, but reading this has given more on an insight into her world than any of the conversations we have had. I will follow your journey as we take our own a few steps ahead of you. Stay strong and remember that each one of your readers are willing you better and praying for you xxxxx

  8. Elise, i just replied to your post on MSE, but will follow your blog having discovered it just now. Good luck with treatment, and congratulations on your marriage, your family will be so important now. Hugs. Gill