Tuesday, 4 April 2017

How to cure Cancer - The Diary

When entering Cancer Land you become aware that actually it's nothing to worry about as everyone around you has 'The Cure'. Isn't that brilliant!!! It's an easy problem to fix!! You just phone work and say 'I can't come in today as I'm coming down with some cancer but you know, a little veg and some magic and I'll be back in. Sorry for the inconvenience. Can you ask Bob in marketing to run the tea club in my absence? Ta'
Then you implement all the cures you've been given and you'll be right as rain. A little duvet day and bobs your uncle! 
Here's how I do it:

6am - Wake up. Stretch arms above head and drop them down my chest. First thought is 'oh my god one of my tits has fallen off!!! Oh hang on. No it's ok. I remember. I've got Cancer. Phew'

615am - 4 year old Noah - "mummy can I have the iPad?"

630am -  I pray. Please don't let it get me.

645am - Drink. Hot water with a slice of lemon. No caffeine. Caffeine causes Cancer. 

7am - 2 year old Tait (from his bed)  - "mummy GET ME OUT!!!" 
In I walk...
Tait - no i wanted daddy
Me - Daddy's at work
Him - Nanny then
Me - She's at home
Him - Ok YOU get me out.
Me - Do you need a wee or a poo?
Him - No
Me - Sit on potty for mummy 
Him- NO
Noah - mummy can I have a million iPad? Can I have it tonight? Oh no mummy look. He's pooh'd on the carpet! 
Tait - Look mummy I pooh'd. Can I have a sweetie? 
Me - Yes in a minute but next time can please you do Mr Pooh on the potty.
Tait - Ok

730 - Coffee time... but you can't drink it. Well you can, it's a bit unclear according to the people with the cures (The curators / Curists?) Drinking caffeine is bad but coffee enemas cure cancer. 

745 - Hit the toilet to expel coffee enema. A morning pooh that smells of Kenco is satisfying and horrifying in equal measure. 

8am - The dairy dance 
Kids - Mum can we have some milk? 
Me - Yes here it is. It looks lovely. 
Kids - You have some mummy? 
Me - I'd love to. I can't have dairy. Dairy is bad. Dairy causes Cancer or can make you more cancery if you already have cancer. 

830am Put the washing on

845am Breakfast. I could murder a bacon sandwich. Bacon causes cancer for fucks sake. But if I've already got it does it bloody matter if I unload 8 rashers into my face? Maybe I'll just burn myself some toast... oh hang on. You can't eat burnt toast. It causes cancer. 
Let's have kale instead 

9am - Mum comes over to look after kids.
Noah - Alright nanny poo poo head. Tait pooh'd on the carpet.
Tait mutters in the background "bloody kids" and I'm thinking...shit! where's he heard that from?
Me - Bye mum. Thanks mum.

10am - Exercise. Exercise is good. 

12pm -  Return horse to field and eat lunch. Plant based only mind! Dandelion root is exceptionally good for curing cancer 

1215 - Get home and have shower. Wash armpits extra well as you can't where deodorant, deodorant is bad. Deodorant causes cancer. 
Hang left tit in non underwired bra. 
Bra already contains worlds largest dinosaur filet to sort of match the gargantuan boob I have left.
A whole new meaning to the words Tit-Head

1230 - Eat a carrot dusted with turmeric.

1300 - Get chemo. Although this may be bad? Could chemo kill me? Some of "The Curators" believe that it's chemo that kills you and also that the extreme diets etc only work if I sack off medical intervention. So am I wrong to have chemo?

Ooooo this is stressful (stress can cause Cancer) so I'll just beat myself up about this while I chew on an apricot Kernel (whatever the fuck that is).

God I could murder some chocolate.... I can't chocolate is bad. It's got sugar in it.

1345 - Pray again 

1400 - Drink green tea. When chemo makes everything you eat and drink taste like soil this is almost bearable. Nothing more satisfying then a cup full of allotment water-butt run-off. 

1430 - Drive home. Think positive thoughts and maybe get in touch with nature.

1500: Cast a spell. I shit you not. Cast a spell 

(Dame Maggie Smith received Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer whilst filming Harry Potter and the deathly hallows. She used drugs. They kicked her ass but she kept going.)

1530: Play trains with the boys. Even if you want to throw up your ring. 
Noah - mummy were you at hospital for your poorly booby again? Can I see your plaster? Smell my feet.

1607 - Stick the kids dinner on....salivating at the thought of eating anything that hasn't been plucked from hedge or soil.
It's ok. Eat some more kale. With grated lemon peel on it to zest it right up. 
Consider wine....forget it. Wine is bad. Alcohol causes Cancer.

1630 - TV distraction time.
Noah - mummy Tait's  just drawn on the wall
Me -  bloody kids! (Ah right....I see where that came from then)
Would you like to watch something on the TV?
Noah and Tait - Peter rabbit Peter Rabbit!!!!!! You watch it with us mummy
Me - Of course 
(On strolls Tommy Brock the angry badger, dragging a brown bag. He shouts at Peter and his friends "nobody touches my sack without my say so" ...quite right badger!!!! And I start laughing.)
Kids - why are you laughing mummy.
Me - he's a funny badger

1700 - The witching hour(s) begin. Food is hurled, whinges are whinged. Protests are held about the chilli I've made and tactics have to be used to get to Tait to eat...

1800 - Juicing time again. Kale, lemon, coconut oil, turmeric. By this time I may as well drink it whilst sat on the toilet...

1830 - Carry both kids up the stairs on my back to the cheer of 'horsey ride'

1900 - Bedtime. Running between two kids bedrooms reading stories and singing nursery rhymes way out of tune. Clean wee off the toilet seat and floor. Remind Noah to practice his aim. 
Kiss them goodnight over and over and over again, aware of how grateful I am to still be here with them. Look over at the big black dragon that Noah has in his room that belongs to my daughter Ally. Aware of the pain that never leaves me because I miss her so much and there is nothing I can do to heal that pain. 

1930 - Relax. Slob down in the lounge. Put the bacon on, burn the toast, break out the wine and line up the chocolate telling myself I'll start afresh tomorrow.  

Smile....because I am alive. 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

No longer a Loughlin

(Note: some pictures by Tara Statton photography and some by my mate Matt. 
Please Click here for the list of lovely suppliers and contributors.) 

So I'm really sorry to have to tell you all but I'm officially off the market....

I married Scouse Keith on 28th Jan. Yes it was on my bucket list with a big question mark next to it but in the end I gave in as I thought it would be nice to have the same surname as my three children. 
When I get to heaven (70 years from now) and I go to collect Ally from nursery I don't want them turning me away as my ID says ‘Loughlin’ on it and not the same as my daughters.

So there we are.
 I kept it quiet as I didn't want the wedding to appear in the paper with the headline ‘Cancer mums dying wish comes true to marry long-time love in wedding bliss’ because not only is it not true it also makes me feel a bit sick.
Not because I don't love Keith, of course I do. He's been my skeleton through all this, the structure that has kept me moving, he has literally animated me. 

No. It’s because although statistically I might die in two years,  IM NOT FUCKING DYING anymore than you are!!! ANNNDDDD I'm also so much more than ‘Cancer Mum!’ (Although I'd like this made into a cape if any of you are a bit crafty - I'll wear it and post pictures – du da du da It's Cancer Mum… fighting Cancer with humour and positivity and a shit load of drugs to ensure her kids grow up with their mum….look at that Lycra and epic camel toe. She's a hero.) 
And ‘wedding bliss’ was more like wedding piss….there were some seriously hammered guests at our do which made it even more amazing and just hilarious. A highlight which springs to mind was when my friend Adam split his trousers twerking.

So basically this wasn't some huge sad Cancer Love story. 

In truth I'm just a woman who married a man because she loves him and wants to share a name with her kids. That's it. 

We have been so touched (not in a sexual way) by all the amazing people involved in our wedding day. 
It all started with a knock on my friend Emma's door from an incredible lady called Tara from the Hilton at Aztec West (for non locals this is in Bristol NOT South America) offering to give us a free wedding. And a huge one at that. We had 250 people by the end of the night. (They plied us with so much wine and delicious food that someone had already barfed by 5pm.)
Then my mates stepped in and said they'd organise whatever I wanted so I didn't have to do a thing. A bit like don't tell the bride but with the bridesmaids sorting it. Then  an amazing lady who lives down the road from me offered to make me a wedding cake and I'm telling you, you won't believe your eyes when you scroll down.
And then some of you lovely people had contacted a charity called The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation who then said they'd take care of all the rest!!!! I was then in a position where I couldn't say no and the date was booked!!!! Oh shiiiiiitttttttt!!!!

I met with Naomi from the WWF and she asked what kind of stuff I liked and of course I said Harry Potter!!!! 
So everyone got together and waved their wands around (oi oi) and whooosh we had an amazing wedding.

I had 11 bridesmaids because I just couldn't choose and I thought balls to it. 
I had a owl called Henry fly down with the rings! He looked a lot like Hedwig and he didn't shit on anyone which is always a bonus. 

Then, we had a flash mob choir that completely took us by surprise and busted out Ed Sheerans Lego House. (Please see my Facebook page ‘storm in a tit cup by Heidi’ to watch it.)

There were far too many awesome things that appeared in our wedding to mention. I hope the pictures cover a lot of it. The infamous String Quartet ‘Allegrezza’ that serenaded the M5 played Harry Potter to us, a photo booth captured Harry Potter themed guest pics (great aunt fanny made an awesome Hagrid), a magician brought the real magic to life, a stunning handmade hair wreath was given to me by an incredible lady from Bristol who keeps her daughters memory alive with the love she has for her and the beautiful  jewellery she makes in her name. The Wedding Wishing Well sourced so many beautiful decorations for the room, decorated the rooms, ran the day like a well oiled machine and brought the Potter magic to life with so many trinkets and Potter themed surprises. No one will ever forget the Owl or the Flash Mob choir. My Dress!!! Which was a surprise to even me!
Another mention must be made of THAT CAKE!!!!
The Potter themed name places for all 150 day guests were so beautiful and are now displayed in so many of the homes of my friends and fam. 
The amazing flowers made for our mums, Tara and Naomi were provided by Sarah Tynan flowers in my town. 
The two lots of flowers at the church were stunning, the Harry Potter themed ones and the ones made with so much love by the congregation of St. Nicholas Church.  Our beautiful personalised wedding hangers. Our handmade wedding rings. And our absolutely amazing photographer who really captured the essence of the day. 
The magic makers which polished 13 turds that morning by doing our hair and makeup.
The band we had in the evening were so flipping fantastic that everyone was talking about them for days after the do. The energy was amazing!!!!!
The DJ busted out loads of classics (not come on Eileen by the way…Nirvana I mean). And our fabulous wedding videographer!!! 

After the wedding we had a week to gather our thoughts and get our stuff ready for the honeymoon.
So I dug out my passport…. still a Loughlin on there, but I noticed something a little more alarming….the expiry date.
It said April 2021.
That's 4 years from now.
It struck me that my passport might be valid for longer than me. What if this is the last passport I ever own? Will I be here long enough to renew it? Who will expire first?
And there was that fear……rising up again like last nights cocktails.
So I whacked it square in the face with my left hand as, although I'm right handed, this is now the one with the most force behind it as it carries my wedding ring.

Wedding suppliers thank you list

I've had to add this as a separate page as I know I need to edit it and I can't work out how to edit this blog from an iPad without deleting it and reposting it. A ball ache.

Suppliers thank you list :

Tara Sylvanus Mattson and all the team from the Hilton at Aztec West. Facebook: Double Tree by Hilton Bristol North
Www: doubletree3.hilton.com
Naomi Thomas – The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation
Facebook: The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation
Twitter: @Wedwishingwell
Web: weddingwishingwell.org.uk
The amazing Harry Potter Wedding cake from Celia at Cemlyn Cakes.
Facebook: Cemlyn Cakes
Twitter @cemlyncakes
Web: Cemlyncakes.co.uk
Tel:  07939 071840
Lu Jeffrey – Allegrezza String Quartet
Facebook: The Allegrezza String Quartet
Web: allegrezza.co.uk
Christine - Vicar of St. Nicholas Church, Portishead
Beauty treatments (nails, eyebrows) Sonia - Creative Beauty
Facebook: Creative Beauty Portishead
Tel: 07872 040837
Flash  mob Choir - Amplify Choir
Facebook: Amplify Choir
Twitter: @Amplifychoir
Www: amplifychoir.co.uk
Owl - TBC
Band - Bring Down The House
Facebook: Bring Down The House
Twitter: @BDTH_Bristol
Web: bringdownthehouse.org
Tech guy – TBC
Magician - Adam Richards
Facebook: Adam Richards Magic
Twitter: @arichardsmagic
Web: adamrichardsmagic.com
Tel: 07729590705
Suits - Men's Hire Nailsea
Facebook: Mens Hire Nailsea
Twitter: @NailseaMensHire
Web: menshire.co.uk
Jewellery and head wreath - Bridezillas
Facebook: Bridezillas Ltd
Twitter: @BridezillasLtd
Web: bridezillas.biz
Rings - TBC
Gift bouquets - Sarah Tynan Flowers
Facebook: Sarah Tynan Flowers
Tel: 01275 817178
Stationers - TBC
Room dressers – TBC
Videographer - A perfect memory
Facebook: A Perfect Memory
Twitter: @a_perfectmemory
Web: aperfectmemory.co.uk
Photographer - Tara Statton  photography
Facebook: Tara Statton Photography
Web: Tarastattonphotography.com
Harry Potter Photo Booth - South west photo booths
Facebook: South West Photo booths
Twitter: @SW_PhotoBooths
Web: southwestphotobooths.co.uk
Hair and makeup - Tracy Pallari hair and make up
Facebook: Tracy Pallari Hair and Make-Up Artist
Twitter: @TracyPallariMUA
Web: tracypallari.com
Church flowers – TBC
Laser names - TBC
Hangers – TBC

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Harry Potter and My Philosophers Stone

Those of you that have read all of my blog posts and happen to be Harry Potter fans will notice my nods towards the magical Pottersphere from time to time.
The most obvious link being the name of my rotten skanky-ass Cancer, 'VolderTit.'
There were a few reasons for this name. 
At Hogwarts (the wizard school) they call the Nemesis Voldemort  and 'he-who-must-not-be-named.' But It is wisely pointed out by Albus Dumbledore that 'fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself'. So I named my rotten mammary glands after him but then wondered if it was a complete contradiction? Why don't I just call it Cancer? 
I'm not scared of the word Cancer, I just don't like it. It's too vague. My cancer is my cancer and I can speak for most people in Cancerland when I say that being blanketed by muggles is one of the most frustrating parts of explaining cancer....

"Oh you'll be fine. Great Aunt Maud had cancer and she's fine." (Some Nob circa 2015)

 But there are so many cancers, and then there are aggreviatung factors to cancers such as hormones, or lack of hormones. Then different metastasis (spread of cancer)   and therefore you'll find it difficult to actually match two people with identical cancers, life expectancies etc. 

Oh and yeah we call you muggles. We do!!! Non Cancer folk. You don't live in Cancerland...that is not to say that you don't have your own shit going on though. It's just how we refer to you. 

For example:

Resident of Cancerland: my port is getting right on my tit. It's itchy as hell.
Muggle: what's a port?
Resident of Cancerland: it's a little dome under your skin that they stick the chemo needles in.
Muggle: oh right. I thought it was a boat car park like.
Resident of Cancerland: (under breath) fucking muggle.


It's not meant in a nasty way. We love you. And love that you ask questions. We just also like to make fun and laugh because let's face it... Cancerland is a pretty shit place to be and a little humour goes a long way. 
I also want to point out before someone calls me a muggle-ist that I happen to know lots of muggles, I'm even friends with some, and live with them, so there!! 

I grew up reading the Potter books...that's to say I was about 18 when I got hooked but I believe you spend your whole life growing up. Changing, evolving. I don't know many people that just stay the same when they hit 21. Do you? 
I used to go to ASDA at Cribbs Causeway at midnight when the books were due out. I would stand hip to shoulder with all the little wizards and witches of Bristol, waiting for the spotty night shift kid to wheel out the trolley of books. Then I'd grab mine, fly home and read it until I fell asleep. I'd get lost in the world of spells, magic and fart flavoured jelly beans and it really made me feel excited, like anything was possible. It probably sounds nobby and sad but screw you, I loved that world. 
And that love never went away. 
The films started coming out and the wizarding world was brought to life. Incredible. The train to Hogwarts alone was fantastic. I spent actual time working out where Hogwarts was.......'If the pupils boarded the Hogwarts Express at 11am in London and arrived in the dark in September which I worked out was around 8pm then it must be Scotland somewhere. But then The Hogwarts Express is a steam train right? So it must travel slower than a First Great Western train? But then again it's got magic on its side and has less piss-stinking toilets. 

As I've continued to grow up I've never seemed to lose the love for Harry and Co. I found myself announcing to the room one day when i needed a poo that I was off to 'conjure a Patronus.' This sat nicely alongside some of my favourite poo announcements... 'drop the kids off at the pool,' 'lay a cable,' 'curl one out,' 'drop anchor in poo bay' and now since the addition of kids I like 'Dumplestiltskin.'
One of my friends was telling me the other day that when you do a poo and you look down afterwards and it's gone and then you wipe and there's no proof that it actually happened and wiping becomes unnecessary then it's called a 'Ghost poo' or a 'ghostie.' She said her young daughter had gone to the toilet and when she shouted up to offer paperwork assistance she replied "nah don't worry, it was just a Ghostie". I love kids.
Now that I have terrible bum manoeuvres (can't stand the term bowel movements) when I feel the warning rumble of an imminent poo-Nado it is not uncommon to hear the running of my feet to the bathroom and my mouth declaring 'expecto patronum'. 
It really takes the edge off the awkwardness of pebble dashing someone's toilet. 

Anyway, I digress.
Over the last few months my cancer, VolderTit, has spread again so I've changed drugs to Kadcyla which is now currently my 'Elixir of life',  my 'Philosopher's Stone' and this drug can add an average of 9 months to the life of someone with secondary breast cancer. Those 9 months are crucial. 
Can you imagine being told you will die? I know we all die, but when a Dr tells you it'll be sooner then you think, you do shit yourself a bit. And 9 months......it doesn't sound like a lot does it? But to someone to whom every minute counts, it is. 9 months gives someone the chance to set their affairs in order. To write letters to their children, to say those goodbyes in all the ways they'd like and to show their other half where the mop is kept. 
This is a very important drug that has had amazing effects. I can physically see on my skin where the Cancer used to be, has now cleared. Imagine being able to watch Cancer growing up your body like Creeper Vines up a house? See it traveling across your skin, spreading over you? It's scary. I conjured an enormous patronus when I saw this happening. Then, when given Kadcyla I saw it in reverse. I saw it slowly reduce and fade. It will return, we know this but at the moment it's at bay. I have been bought time. There is no more precious a gift then time. 

Creeper Vines Aug 2016
Now they are on about taking Kadcyla away from some women with secondary breast cancer because it's too expensive. If this happens these women will likely die quicker. If Kadcyla wasn't given to me in September then I could be so much closer to death than I am now. I'm not sugar coating it, this is fucking serious. Please sign the petition on my Facebook page 'storm in a tit cup by Heidi' or go to the Breast Cancer Now website. 

Now, as if by magic Keith and I attended the London Premiere of the new JK Rowling film 'Fantastic Beasts and where to find them.' We arrived at Leicester Square and saw hundreds of fans dressed up ready to see JK and hot Eddie with the red mane. (This man is representing us Gingers impeccably) 

Us with our tickets. I finally have more hair than Keith! 

Whilst in the lift at our hotel a posh American lady asked me what all the homeless people were queuing for outside in Leicester Square. I explained that this was in fact a large collection of Hagrid's and Dobby the House Elf's which is just, you know, standard British behaviour. She looked at me like I was 'Fluffy.' (The three headed dog that guards the Philosophers Stone)  

We walked down the red (well it was blue) carpet and there was JK!!!!! Just next to me. So close I could have poked her with my wand but I didn't. I was too shy. I wanted to go over and tell her how amazing she is but she hears that constantly. I wouldn't have time to tell her all the stuff I've told you...about VolderTit and also how poignant her writing is. How wise. 
I wanted to tell her how much i want to stay alive long enough to read the books to the boys. About how I'm thinking of recording my voice reading the books just in case I'm not. 
I wanted to tell her that Albus Dumbledore says one of the wisest things I've heard or read. 
In fact this mantra is something that Ive carried in my head constantly since VolderTit landed in my life and even more so since the death of my daughter Ally.  

"happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light" 

 To lose my daughter, my darkness. To live for my sons, my light.

 Amen Albus. You cape wearing genius. 

Keith and I went to the after party. There was a book shelf full of doughnuts, a wall of sandwiches and an entire bar full of sweets!!! It was amazing. Grown adults stuffing sweets in at a hundred miles an hour. Pure bliss. 

Phoenix Ice Sculpture 
The sweetie bar