I continued to get my chemo from January, however also started Oxygen Therapy which for any of you who are unfamiliar is a treatment with is used for people with MS and also used for Divers who get the bends. It is a chamber you sit in fully clothed with an oxygen mask on. The chamber is then decompressed to 8ft below sea level apart from having the oxygen mask on which those who are claustrophobic would struggle with I found the experience relaxing as I would read my book for an hour twice a week when I went for my appointments. I have no scientific evidence however after having 18 blood transfusions in the previous 5 months all I can say is i did not need another transfusion until after my 8th and final cycle of chemo.
At the end of March I had a scan and was told the most amazing fabulous news any cancer patient can hear that I was NEAD, which stands for No Evidence of Active Disease!!! Imagine after everything I had gone through in the past few years and being certain I wouldn’t see my $0th birthday I was now closer than ever of achieving this milestone. To say I was ecstatic is an understatement!!!
So the plans were put in motion to enjoy the next few months off not being on chemo and making the most of every moment. NEAD is the term given by Oncologists when they can not see any disease on the scans. There is no guarantee that there is no disease in the body as tiny cells not visible to the naked eye on scans could be circulating in the lymphatic system or blood stream or there could be tiny cells already forming into a tumour which again is not visible, that is why they say Stage 4 cancer patients are not cured because they cannot guarantee there isn’t cancer in the body. So the best us Stage 4 patients can wish for is to be told there is NEAD.
First plans were to go on my cousins 50th birthday weekend to Spain – Done
Next a weekend in Spain with my cousin and friend for a Healing retreat in the Marbella Hills. What an amazing weekend we had with Holistic Therapists and guest speakers from all over the world it was amazing and had been organised by a guy called Mark Barjeski who owns the The Healing Academy in Marbella.
This guy had recently published a book and very kindly put on the 2 day Healing Retreat free. It was amazing to listen to his talk about how he got involved in Holistic Therapy’s. I have become really interested in Alternative treatments, mindfulness, meditation and Angel Therapy.
One of the biggest things I have become attuned to is “Negative Energy”. I will honestly admit that 4 years ago if someone had talked to me about this I would have thought they were away with the fairies. But when you are faced with the events which I have had then you reevaluate things and what and who is important in your life.
Have you ever heard the reference to an Energy Vampire? Well next time you are in someone’s company and afterwards you feel completely zonked! You have been zapped by an energy vampire. We all know that person the one who cant see the wood for the trees, sees the glass always half empty. The person who says oh you could never do that, or how are you meant too to do that? its impossible. Well then you know an energy vampire. This could be personally or in a work place or Social occasion. They will suck the life out of you with their negative, draining persona! Advice put a few lemons around the house or office if they go mouldy there is too much negative energy in the environment. If they go hard then good, good good you have good positive energy around you.
In your home or office have lots of plants, aloe Vera are good. Place a salt lamp on your desk or in your living room, burn sage incenses sticks clear the negative energy from your space and you will feel better. It might all be in my head the so called placebo effect, but who cares if it works and gives me a feel good factor then it is worth it.
I laugh with my friends now as I think they believe I’m some sort of middle aged witch with all my hocus pocus remedies but sure life’s too short to worry about that! Lol!!
So after my Healing Retreat in Spain I had a weekend in Spain at my friends house with my husband with the sole purpose of our trip to book my birthday party which I had decided 2 years previously that if God spared me and I was still alive for my 40th I wanted to have it at a beautiful restaurant on the Costa del Sol coast. The restaurant was a beautiful traditional Spanish family run business which looked out to the Med and had a private beach. It really was Idylic and what I wished for so much.
So with that trip a success and a booking made for my family to go to Spain to celebrate my birthday I put it out to whoever would like to join me on the night. In the end there were 35 friends and family at the restaurant that night and it was one of the best nights of my life with all the people there I wished for, it was amazing!
Nest trip was a few days in the Cote de Azure hills at my cousins beautiful B&B which is completely what you imagine of typical French Villages with mediaeval castles, beautiful scenery and gorgeous food and wine so again another fantastic weekend which I enjoyed with my husband.
Apart from all they short breaks I had since being off chemo I opened the post one day to find a very official looking envelope which initially gives you that dreaded feeling in the pit of your stomach that you have done something wrong. When I opened it I was pleasantly shocked to find I had been nominated to receive an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list in June. Whao!!! Is all I could say, It was all very official and in the letter it explained that I was not allowed to tell anyone (excluding my immediate family) as the official list was published by The Gazette and UK Newspapers the eve of the Birthday Honours list being published. OH NO how was I going to keep this secret as I was really wanting to know who had nominated me for this very honourable award which was for my services raising funds and awareness of Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I just could not take it in I was completely humbled by the gesture and then to be accepted by the Queen to accept this awards was unbelievable.
So swearing my husband, kids and parents to absolute secret we had a month to keep this to ourselves, however I set about organising a Garden Party for family and friends with a cover story that I was celebrating being off chemo and just had another clear scan.
So 2018 really was starting out a a great year as I was NEAD, got an MBE and I was going to see my 40th birthday!!