Thursday 25 February 2016

The BullRing of Fire

(This post is dedicated to the memories of Liam Fairhurst and his friend Jack Wilkinson.
Liam was born on 26th February 1995 and in 2005 was diagnosed with a rare high grade soft tissue Cancer called Synovial Sarcoma. 
Liam met Jack whilst undergoing treatment and they became fast friends, swapping treatment stories and spending hours laughing together. 
In 2006 Jack sadly died at age 12. 
Liam was subsequently driven to fundraise for others whilst undergoing aggressive treatments for his illness. Never once did he give up. He was selfless beyond words.
In 2009 Liam sadly died aged 14. 
His family set up a foundation in his name and Liam's brother Callum is currently cycling around America for his brother. Their mother Sarah asked me about this story and I feel today is the right time to share. 
Happy Birthday Liam. I hope you like a poo story. Share it with Jack. You can laugh together. Aren't friends amazing.)

When Will from 'The Inbetweeners' shat himself, his friends didn't offer him a hug or comfort, they laughed and called him 'Bumlog Millionaire', 'Vladimir Pootin' and 'Brad shit.'
Some might say this is cruel and unkind. I say this is true friendship. 

When I was pregnant,  I was having 'baby-safe chemo', as you know, and one of the side effects is 'loose bowels.' Loose bowels??? Who I am kidding.... I mean the trots!! Ass cannon, bum wee, Poo-nado. Or medically; diarrhoea.
Anyway, whilst mid cycle of the first chemo that didn't work; my oldest friends and I went to Birmingham Christmas markets. 
Lucy sat with me while I had the drugs pumped into my arm and the minute the tubes were disconnected we were hauling ass out of hospital and into the cars for a night of carefree living in a Birmingham travel lodge. 
We spent most of the first day stuck on the M5 and when we eventually arrived we made the somewhat stupid decision to have a Thai. 
This Thai was hot. 
And when I say hot, it was tantamount to wearing a ski suit whilst licking the sun. 
Yeah that hot!

The next day whilst en route to the Bullring for a spot of sophisticated shopping, I got the pre 'poo-nado' warning siren in my guts. 
Oh crap. Literally. 
The good people of Birmingham were currently in the process of remodelling all their roundabouts so we were stuck in the mother-of-all traffic jams. It's ok. I can do this.

Then came the hot sweats and the panic that usually accompany the realisation of imminent soil-age of ones under crackers. 

Try and think of something else they said.
We are nearly there they said. 
So is this poo I said. 

As the threat of a full outfit right-off descended, the hub caps of the Bullring came into view and thus the promise of a public toilet...mind you I'd have settled for a long drop in central Deli at this point. 
Unfortunately the sweet sensation of imminent release had traveled to my bowels as I uttered the immortal words 'oh no. I think I'm guna shit myself!'
With driving skills to rival Jenson Button and re-enacting one of those chase scenes out of a Bond movie, Anna took a very hard left into what looked like the parking lot of a mechanic's business set to the backdrop of the film Deliverance. 
A war cry of 'don't worry I've got wet wipes' blasted out from the back seat as Anna breaked hard and I yanked on the door handle ready to do a moving exit stage left. 'Someone come with me' I cried as Gemma was already running out of the back shouting 'Me! That's me! I love this shit.' 
I bolted for the edge of the car park, dodging car part after car part to run into a corner of hell that can only be described as a crack-den intermingled with that toilet out of trainspotting. 
I was already 'dropping trou' as the departure gates were opening. As I began to squat I couldn't even consider that I might be reversing onto a heroine needle left by last nights tenants. I just needed to feel the air hit my bum and all would be well. 
The trousers were down, the pants were clear, Gemma's face was lit up like a Christmas tree when it came! 
The words biggest pooNami. 
And MAN , did it hurt!!!!! 

Squatting whilst pregnant is bad enough without having to fire the entire contents of the worlds hottest chillis out of your ass. It really gave a whole new meaning to the word Bullring. 

So, there we were. Me, my hysterical friend Gemma (who was laughing so much she nearly had to join me), and my bum contents. Just chilling in a car park.

That my friends, is friendship. 

Tuesday 23 February 2016

The Bucket and Spade list - AKA The Toothless Trails

1. camping – regularly. Get all the kit and camp around the UK. As my treatment changes in the blink of an eye and I read in some 'middle class problems' article somewhere that kids who camp have a higher IQ I've always wanted to become a 'camp site wanker' and will be able to do this as a last minute trip.
Your job: recommend me UK campsites that are great with 1 and 3 year olds. Tell me what kit I need and general tips.

2. Disneyland Paris at Christmas - this is because my cousin goes every year and loves it and we are planning the worlds biggest road trip with the kids next year to USA and will take them to Orlando so his could be the warm up. I'm concerned Tait will just whinge though and bite people and it'll be a 'why the fuck did we bother' trip. Thoughts?

3. Lapland - would love to take the boys to meet santa in the snow. You can do a day trip to this but as we always seem to get delays I think a night stay would be great. In a log cabin.

4. Road trip USA - this is the big one! Scouse and I love America. We have both been separately and together. When I was younger I travelled the world alone and I covered a huge part of the west coast USA and a few southern states but there are still quite a lot I haven't seen. We have always said that when the boys were about 9, 8 and subsequently Ally at 7, we would go for a huge trip. We thought that was about the age where they could experience everything. This was the trip I thought about constantly and if I could only do one thing on this list it would be this trip. So we decided that whatever happens we are bloody doing it. It'll be around May/June next year just before Noah starts school. It's going to be for about 5 weeks and we will start in Florida and make our way up to Chicago and then across to Niagara Falls.
Your job: tell me what you have done or would like to do in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvanian, New York.

5. Should we get married? - see that question mark!!!!
6. Get the kids christened.
7. A weekend with my mum to a spa or something similar
8. A weekend or trip with my brother and Tripe (my sister in law - she looks like a cows udder)
9. Trip with my BBB ladies (these are the incredibly sweary breast cancer tribe I am part of.) These girls have really bloody helped me and I can't wait to meet them all one day.
10. Get my blog into a book and sell it!!!!!! Learn how to re-root money to Monaco and avoid tax = live the dream
11. Write a children's book and get it published.
12. Visit friends and family more often. Old friends / New ones.
13. Legoland
14. Watch someone give birth.... At the business end!! I'd be really great as a birthing partner!!!
15. Thomas land
16. Ceebeebies world
17. skiing - with or without kids? I love skiing and would love to go again. It's been a while.
18. Australia. A road trip would be amazing as well as just chilling out. Take the kids to the Whit Sunday's and Uluru.
19. Meet The Unmumsy mum. Hopefully she'll then become my best friend = bonus!
20. Stay in a treehouse
21. Weekends with my best friends. These are of course child free but fuelled by wine. - completed Feb 2016.
22. Meet 'Counting Crows'
23. Sky Dive
24. Be a voice on the Simpsons
25. Take the boys horse riding - teach Noah to ride 
26. Walk up Glastonbury Torr - I live not too far from here but have never done it.
27. Drive around Devon and Cornwall in a camper van. The kids would love this!!!!
28. Take Noah in a cockpit of a plane or in a helicopter.
29. Ride horses on the beach again, galloping through the wet sand.
30. Cage dive with sharks ( I have advanced open water SSI qualification but never got near a shark - probably for the best)
31. Wing walk..... Think I might be too heavy for this though.
32. Camper van around Canada. Searching for bears.
33. An adventure playground garden at our house for the kids complete with a She-Shed thingy to drink wine and hot choc in and camp out overnight.
34. Boat trip in Alaska.
35. Actaully travel in the posh part of the plane.
36. Be dragged under a helicopter like they did on Bear Grylls, or go in one if not.

Now the very important ones
* See Noah start school (sept 2017).  Walk him to the gate in his uniform and be there to meet him afterwards
* See Tait start school (sept 2019).  Walk him and his brother to the gates and listen to them compare their days when I pick them up.
* Make my family and friends proud (this was previously number 24)
* Live to see the kids start secondary school
* Live to see the kids start Uni or travel or jobs etc
* Live to see the kids get married
* Live to meet my grandchildren
* Live

Sunday 21 February 2016

Living now vs the future

This is a boring post for you to read but I do need your help so suck it up. 

What would a child's bucket list look like? This is not a rhetorical question......

When we had the boys, both were treated to a bear from 'build a bear' courtesy of their Nan. For those who have never encountered this shop, it's one that you get cute teddies from and then you dress them as a transvestites or a dominatrix and give them to your kids and say "it's great to be individual. Check out the whips and chains elephant I bought you". 

When I was pregnant with Ally, Scouse and I went to 'build a bear'  to choose Ally's present to be bought once she was born. Sad to say I was not drawn to 'lap dance leopard' or 'trailer park tiger', I was drawn to something far more suited to a little girl. 
I wanted the giant black Dragon with no teeth from How to Train your Dragon. No outfits or rocks of crack with this one, just a huge fire breathing destroyer called Toothless. Scouse agreed. We took a picture and showed my mum what to buy when the time came. 

There was never time for Ally to meet Toothless as he wasn't bought in time.

Last week I decided it was time I bought new clothes and whilst dragging my fat ass around the shops wondering what the point in looking less like a Muslin cloth was (covered in snot and spit to the point I could refer to my limbs as 'snot legs' etc) I found myself wondering into 'build a bear'. I walked out with Toothless and a birth certificate for him that stated he was for Ally Louise Smith. I smiled. 
I got home and the boys were all over him like a tramp on chips and I thought 'welcome home Ally's Dragon'.

                                      Tait and Toothless

Anyway there's a reason why I'm blabbing on about this. It had been decided that Toothless is now the family mascot to what is about to become the family 'fuck it' list. 
Or the bucket and spade list - a list of things I want to do with the boys before I shuffle off to marry Tom Hardy in a parallel universe. 
You see I'm a fucker for living in the future. I constantly used to say we would do things once the kids were x age. Well it's starting to look like my future may be a bit shorter then some so it's time to start living now. 

So I've sat down to write this list and decided that you guys might want to do this 'journey' with me (I agree with the Unmumsy mum about the word journey! I recommend you read her book). Therefore, as well as the posts I usually write, I'm going to keep - separate one as an active one. I'll tell you what I've got planned so far and then I want you to tell me what you would add to the list and if it's feasible I will add your suggestions to my list and credit you with it when it's achieved. You'll notice it's not quite all about them, some of these are just my goals. The bucket is me (you've got a filthy mind!) and the spade is them, the kids, or skids as I call them.

So tell me what you'd do with your kids, and without , if you were lying in the road waiting for the proverbial bus to hit you but it was delayed so you had time to plan a few last things. 

Ask your kids what they'd like to do if they could pick a list of activities. I bet Peppa pig world will come up A LOT!!!
I'm going to document all the trips we take, the vomit spewed in the car journeys, the whinging, the anticlimaxes, the highs and the lows.... All with Ally's Dragon.

And even better it starts tomorrow!!! But without the kids!!!! Pork rolls and quiz nights as I head to 'Shitterton' with my school friends!!!

So, what would you do if you were me? 

I'm going to live!!!

Yippe Kai yay mother fuckers!

Tuesday 9 February 2016


Today hurricane Imogen is whacking us around the head at full force. The fence has blown down and the chimney is howling like the wizards sleeve of a hooker. An act of nature sent to remind us just how puny and insignificant we are.
I've had 3 rounds of the new chemo, the most recent having been on Thursday and I'm sitting here with a mouth like Ghandi's flip flop and my guts turning over in preparation for 'poo-nado' number 170. 
Noah is at his Nan's, Tait is asleep upstairs and we have just chosen the headstone  that will sit on top of our daughters grave. 
Our daughters grave. There's something I never thought I'd say. 

When I started this blog in October it was to merely update friends on my progress. 
It was later shared on disgracebook and as a result awareness has risen around Inflammatory Breast Cancer, I've got more twitter followers then Scouse and my family have learnt lots of alternatives for the word clunge. 
Raising awareness is now part of my goal and continues to be a little extra nugget that motivates me to be positive even when I'm drowning. 

I did some more news type stuff last week as I realised you guys hadn't seen my new hairstyle which resembles a badgers testicle; and the question on everyone's lips was do I regret anything?

It's a tricky question you see because all of these shit-uations are interlinked.

Is it regretful that Dr Bellend didn't diagnose me at my first appointment in March because then the cancer was at its infancy and much more likely to be curable? 
If he had diagnosed me early then Ally never would have been born. So this I can't regret. I got to meet her.

It is regretful that as well as having Voldertit I also am HER2 receptive which means the cancer is fuelled and I need the drug Herceptin which cannot be had in pregnancy. So I had to risk my life to have Ally as I wanted to keep her.

It is regretful that the baby friendly chemo didn't work and that in order for me to give all three of my children a mum I had to have Ally at 28 weeks where her prognosis was over 90%. 

It is regretful that she was not in the over 90%. 

It is regretful that she died. But it is also so much more than that. Regretful is a fucking stupid word.  

And with regret comes guilt.

I feel guilty everyday that I didn't decline the medical advice and just stay pregnant. 
I feel guilty for thinking that as I also need to be here for the boys. 
I feel guilty for going home the night Ally got ill. 
I feel guilty for having just lost a child and then laughing at big brother when Stephanie left her crusty pants out for all to see. And I feel guilty that Ally died. 

Regret and guilt. These are two things that seem to go hand in hand. 
I could have done more? Could I? 

I'm currently experiencing a very low level of fame at the moment. I'd liken it to the equivalent of that bird on Facebook recently who was photographed drunk posing with her very sexy boyfriend and appeared to be shitting a cat....people know who you are but for all the wrong reasons.  I'm sometimes recognised when I go out but I'm well aware it's because I'm that bald, unlucky woman off the telly.
One lady came up to me in boots a few weeks ago while I was buying vitamins (ironic) and said 'I just wanted you to know that you made the right decision'. 
Now this woman will never know this, as at the time I couldn't quite explain my gratitude to her, but by having a complete stranger tell me this really helped me. I question my choices constantly and to have someone uninvolved reaffirm my decision, was so extremely kind. 

The title of this blog has never meant more to me then it does right at this second. 
A tit cup, even with baps like mine, is a relatively small place to hold a storm. My tit cup houses Voldertit!!!
 Voldertit is so much more than cancer. It is the threat of saying goodbye, the anxiety that comes when living your life with your mortality dangling in front of you and it is fundamentally responsible for the death of my daughter. So a storm? More like a bitch ass hurricane!!!

A mighty mother fucking hurricane. 

The skies are dark, the noise is deafening, the shit from our lives is blown all over the garden. The rain is battering the window's but I do feel slightly cosy on the sofa looking out. A few weeks ago I'd have been sat right there in the mud, with the rain soaking my trousers but right now I'm grateful for the warmth. 

As the storm rages on and the isobars push across the UK, they seem to move in one direction, forwards.