I don't often talk about my life on here - this is a WoW blog after all but shit just got really real here at Casa Nev & I need to make some changes so here goes. If you don't want to read all the blubby stuff inbetween, there's a TL:DR bit at the bottom ok? :P Settle down, this could take a while :)
May I Introduce HelenFirst off, I want to introduce the real me - not Nev, Lyss, ArtyAllsorts or Gala98, me - Helen Shorey. I've always kept the various parts of my internet life separate so as not to bore photographers with WoW stuff & vice versa but now I want to pull all of you together, you'll see why in a little while.
I'm eclectic - I write 3 blogs or more (actually, I've lost track!) as well as a few guest posts here & there (not all WoW), I have my Squidoo friends, my Etsy friends, my Microstock friends & of course, all my lovely fellow WoW addicts. All of you know me by the name I chose for that 'category' of my life online but I can only make one page for this so I need to come out of the closet at last. I'm me, just Helen, a girl with lots of interests & lots of curiosity about all sorts of stuff.
The StorySo long story shortened a fair bit - I found a lump in my breast about 3 weeks ago. Not a huge one but still much bigger than I ever expected to find. My Mum & grandma both had breast cancer so I've been very careful about checking regularly. Just 2 months ago, there was nothing to be found, now, it feels about 2inches long.
I've had the usual tests & got my results earlier this week - it is definitely cancer but the bad news was that it is a type 3 (for my American friends, not stage 3, that's different again!), which as far as I understand so far, that means fast growing with the potential to be aggressive. I had a week of waiting for results & I felt that I had accepted the cancer part & I knew from experience that it would require surgery to remove said lump. I was ok with that - it's just a bit of fatty flesh after all.
I wasn't prepared at all for the Doctor's decision though - due to the speed & aggressiveness, they want to make sure & play safe by taking the whole breast - that shocked me to the core & I almost howled there & then. I've calmed down a lot in just 2 or 3 days - now I only howl occasionally :)
So now I'm waiting for a date for my surgery & then about 8 weeks after that, I will probably start chemotherapy. The full treatment plan will be decided after my operation - whilst they are in there, they will check my lymph nodes to see if its started to spread - if it has, then the treatment plan will change but for now, it's op & chemo.
The PleaSo why am I telling the whole world about this? Because one idea that hit me the day of the tests & being told even then that he was pretty certain it was cancer, was to do something positive. I have long hair & it is very thick & chemotherapy will most likely rob me of it for a while. I decided I wasn't going to just let that happen, it's my hair, I'll decide where it goes! So I am going to donate my ponytail to a charity that makes wigs for children suffering with cancer & hair loss.
OK, so that still doesn't really involve you guys does it? Well, here's the other bit - I want your money! I'd like you all to 'sponsor' me to cut it off - I've created a page on JustGiving where you can help me raise money for a fantastic support charity - Breast Cancer Care. I will admit, reading the information there scared me shitless at first but it gave me enough knowledge to take in what the Specialist told me this week without asking what every little bit meant.
You can donate easily via Paypal as much or as little as you wish. Any UK donations will also qualify for Gift Aid - a tax break for charities - just tick the box on the site to make sure the Inland Revenue refunds the tax bit to the charity.
I'm going to be tweeting, Facebooking & blogging about this for a while to come - I'd like to ask you to spread my message & help me raise this cash. Retweeting, FB liking or even just a link somewhere to my charity page would all help. As an online community, our power to do some good is amazing - we stretch across the world like a spiderweb, all of us just reaching a few others outside our circle.
I have some good support around me, Mum of course, is being wonderful even though it must bring back all her own memories. Dad is head chauffeur & dealing with official stuff with me & my long time best friend & sister in law is her usual no-nonsense kick butt self. But online I have some very special people too & I'd like to publicly thank Scott, Rob & Michelle for all their loving support from the first horrible day. I'm not sure that I would be this positive already without them - I love you guys, thank you <3
I can beat this thing & with your help, we can help these charities to help others to beat it too.
The MessageYes, I'm still talking! I have one more important thing to say & this is probably more important than asking for your cash.
LADIES - check yourself! Every month, just have a good feel around. Next time you visit your Doc, ask them to show you how to do it properly & get used to doing it yourself. Learn what feels normal for you & if something changes - DON'T HANG AROUND, GET IT CHECKED please :) Mine appeared in under 8 wks, you may not have time to faff around - just go get it checked.
GENTS - not only can you check your girls' boobies under the name of fun :P but you should check yourselves too - guys do have some breast tissue there even if you don't have moobs. Guys can get breast cancer too so same thing applies - check yourself & get any changes checked out.