Monday, 25 June 2012

Introducing The Real Me, A Message & A Plea



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 Helen

First 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 Story

So 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 Plea

So 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 Message

Yes, 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.

TL:DR

I am Helen, I just got breast cancer & I want your money for charity! (There - see, I can do short sentences sometimes!!! lol)

27 comments:

  1. http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/5163/pms.png

    Wearing a Pink Mageweave Shirt for you.

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    1. aww, thank you Hunnie :) {{{hugs}}}

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  2. Nev, my thoughts are with you, and I'll be sure to do what I can to spread the word. I actually just lost my mother to breast cancer in April, so it's definitely a subject that's at the forefront of my mind.

    The best advice I can give isn't strictly medical (after all, you have doctors for that), but rather personal and philosophical. No matter what, keep a positive attitude. The best way to be a survivor is to think of yourself as one right from the beginning.

    Also, on a medical note, this is likely painful, but if you haven't already, you may want to ask the doctor's opinion on removing both breasts instead of just the one. Not only is there a sense of symmetry (some may laugh, but that is important), but in many cases, it can reduce the likelihood of the cancer returning.

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    1. thank you Tailswish,so sorry to hear about your Mum {{{hugs}}} to you. Positive is why I'm doing this now - it will help me stay focussed as well as do some good elsewhere :) & yes I did ask exactly that! They will consider taking the 2nd one at the same time as I go for my reconstruction later on, they want me to focus on just getting well again first though. mwah!

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    2. 100% agree with everything Tailswish says right there!
      Reducing the chance of return is absolutely critical - consider every option that is available to you.
      Support and love help a lot ^_^

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    3. thank you Khalior hon, really appreciate your msg :) {{{hugs}}} to you xxx

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  3. I'm very lucky to have quite a lot of (kind) readers. So I hope this helps a little. http://www.thegoldqueen.com/tips/pink-ribbon-nev/

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  4. You're a tough chick. You're not going to get away from us that easy! ;D

    You're one of the most important people to me and I hope you let me know if you think of any way I can help out.

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  5. I am very sorry to hear of your news. As the husband of a woman who has been where you are now, I know just how scary it is. I'm glad you've found a way to do something positive - finding ways to feel strong and not helpless will be a huge help to you in the coming months. Please know that ,any of us interwebby people will be pulling for you.

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    1. oh I am so sorry to hear that for you both! Yes, scary is a good word & is pretty much where I'm hovering now - I'm mostly okay til something catches me unawares then it's back. I guess that's just my adjustment time though. I hope your wife is better/on the mend, thank you for your kind words, they will help when I'm low, I'm sure :) {{{hugs}}} to you both xxx

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  6. I am sorry to hear your news. My great grandmother had a breast removed because of breast cancer. My mother in law is currently fight kidney cancer that had turned into a 20 pound tumor before the doctors finally caught it.

    Keep fighting. Chemo is going to make you really, really sick. You may think you are dying. Just think of it as the chemicals doing their job.

    Best of luck to you.

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    1. thanks Darraxus, cancer in general is just such a nasty thing. I wanted to do something positive & altho I support many different charities, this time Breast Cancer Care seemed the best choice. I think the chemo is probably the scariest part but I have good people around me for real & here so I'm hoping that will help keep me going :) So sorry to hear about your M-I-L, fingers crossed for her in her fight xxx

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  7. I was also diagnosed with breast cancer about 3 weeks ago. I"m going on
    thursday to find out my tratment plan. I am trying to keep upbeat and have a good attitude about all of this. I know that we can beat this thing. There are so many women who have fought and won this battle and I know that you and I will be among them.You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. oh my gosh hon - so sorry to hear that. I understand you going anon here but if you'd like to have some company on this journey, my email address is up the top there on the right hand side. I'll keep it between us, obviously. If not, no worries :) I wish you all the best, stay strong & positive is what I'm hearing every where, {{{big hugs}}} Nev

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  8. As a guy I know I don't really have any idea of what your going through but I wanted to wish you the very best and to tell you my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer a little over 10 years ago. That was probably in the dark ages of cancer treatment and she is still going strong today. I know cancer one of the scariest words in the English language but try and stay positive. You have every reason to think that you'll beat this.

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    1. Thank you for your message & it's great to hear about your MIL :) My Mum is a 25yr survivor too so I have a great example in my life - staying positive is tough sometimes but only for very short periods so far. I'm sure it will get harder but I have some wonderful friends around me & so many people like yourself, sending me messages of support. I'm sure as hell gonna do my best to beat this, that's for sure. thank you again xxx

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  9. I am sorry to hear about your cancer. Please read a friends blog www.chrisbeatcancer.com before doing chemo. I know you have to have the cancer cut out but look at natural alternatives that can be done whether you do chemo or not.

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  10. This is so sad. :( Hopefully you will be able to get rid of it for good! Good luck <3

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    1. Thank you Kuja :) I'm not sad though hon, just annoyed & a bit frustrated for now. So many plans & dreams put on hold but not cancelled - gonna fight hard to reach them anyway :)

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  11. I unfortunately can't spare any money at the moment but I'll help spread the word and you'll be in my prayers Nev/Helen. Get well soon (that feels a bit cliche I know but I'm terrible at this stuff, sorry :P)

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    1. oh hunni! don't worry - spreading the word is just as good :) I know cash is tight all round right now & thank you for your prayers {{{hugs}}}

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    2. I added a link with that pink mageweave shirt icon I stole from Jim / Gold Queen to my blog and I linked your JustGiving page on my facebook and twitter, hope it helps!

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    3. oh that's wonderful hon, thank you so much! {{{hugs}}}

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  12. Nev I am so sorry to hear the news, but you are correct in stating that you can beat it, and I believe that you will!!!

    As a cancer survivor myself I know that one moment you can feel overwhelmed while the next you feel fine. The key (for me) was to keep a positive attitude and surround myself with lots of support and from the sounds of it you are doing just that.

    The issue I had/have is that most of my friends can't really understand just how big the situation is because they have not lived it (not that I would wish it upon any one of them). It's great that you have your Mum who can relate (and I'm glad that she beat it too!), but if you need/want to talk about anything going on feel free to email me at afkkrafting@gmail.com. I am more than willing to lend an ear to aid a soon to be fellow survivor!

    Matt/Breshota

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    1. Awww matt, thank you so much. It's always nice to hear positive stories & I'm glad you have beaten the damned thing. I am doing my best to stay positive & messages like yours will help me on my low days I'm sure :) I'll certainly keep your email handy & will take you up on that if I feel the need. much love xxx

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  13. I read the blog of this guy Larry Berkelhammer (http://www.larryberkelhammer.com/).

    I watched his latest video and thought you might be interested:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdRnXQrThlA

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  14. "If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!
    mawaddainternationalaid

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