8 Dec 2014

Just a little update...


Hello everyone. This post has been a long time coming and I am sorry for that. I distanced myself from the world of blogging and writing, I think because I associated it with being ill but now I am sat at my computer in my Christmas jumper with Elf on in the background feeling ready to update you all on the last nine months of my life. (I can’t believe it's been that long!)

Let me start by telling you all that I am very well and feeling extremely healthy. I have been focused on healing my body over the course of the year. I have cut out dairy from my diet (apart from the odd bit of chocolate or treat from time to time, I am only human), reduced the amount of sugar I eat and I tend to avoid gluten too. I eat a mainly vegan diet with the odd bit of fish as and when I fancy. This has all been my decision and I feel much better for it. I have of course lost weight as a result but my main reason for changing my diet was that I believe it helps my body to function at its best. I am not suggesting that all cancer sufferers do the same but this is just what I have found works for me and my body. I really enjoy cooking and making smoothies...


Make up free green smoothie selfie.

Home made Tomato soup

Vegan burgers and baked sweet potato fries


Banana and chia seed smoothie

Sunshine mango, banana and coconut smoothie

Dairy free avocado pesto rice pasta

I had some final bits of surgery in October and have been resting and recovering from that since but I am now feeling much better and almost at full strength. Being house bound again and spending almost a week in hospital reminded me of how horrible all of this illness business can be. Every day I would ask my surgeon if I could go home and whenever he said no I’d sulk but I did understand that he knows best. When I saw him recently for a check up he said ‘you don’t like hospitals much do you?’ The answer is of course no. I think I must have looked grumpy everyday I was in there, even more so than the average hospital patient. It didn’t help that I thought I was only going to be kept in for one night and by night five I was not happy. But the good news is that as grumpy as I may have been it was all worth it and I now feel much better.

See, I did smile in hospital sometimes!


My hair is finally growing at a normal rate and although it is not as long as I would like it to be, it is on its way. My eyelashes and eyebrows are now almost back to how they were before I lost them and I still feel grateful every time I apply mascara or brush my hair. I am still obsessed with all things beauty and fashion and bright lipsticks remain an important part of my make up bag.



New hair cut

I still wear the pink shoes!
Me and my beautiful sister.


I finished my Herceptin infusions in July and now the only treatment I have are Zoladex injections and Tamoxifen tablets. Tamoxifen and I are not the best of friends. At the end of most days I ache like an old woman, my legs frequently cramp and I often sleep badly but I am getting used to it and some days are better than others. I recently discovered I am deficient in Vitamin D and am now on tablets which I am hoping will help with the bone pain.

In October I took part in The Show, a fashion show raising money for Breast Cancer Care. It was an amazing day. I met some truly wonderful people and hope to stay in contact with them for a long time to come and it was fun to be a model for a day.


Oh I forgot to mention I was escorted down the runway by a male model! (photo taken by Breast Cancer Care)

Photo taken by Breast Cancer Care


My two year Cancerversary was in November and I spent a lovely chilled weekend with my Madre in Cornwall...




Me and Madre



  I've been to Stonehenge and Harry Potter World...


Happy Stonehenge faces.
Butterbeer selfie

Hagrid's motorbike.



I am looking forward to 2015, I feel like it could be my year. In January I am hoping to go travelling for a month or so and then when I get back I think I might move to London. It is very exciting not to have to plan my life around breast cancer treatment any more and I am really looking forward to being free of the hospital for a while. I am very lucky to have the most amazing medical team keeping a close eye on me and I know they will still continue to do so even if I am a bit further away from them.

So that is about it from me for now. I have really enjoyed writing this blog and all the new friends and opportunities it has given me. I will still check in from time to time and I love reading your comments. If you want to keep updated more regularly with how I am getting on you can follow me on twitter and instagram. Don't forget to keep checking those boobs! And show my friends over at Coppafeel! some love too please.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2015!!!



Love you long time. X

25 Mar 2014

I'm back!

Hello friends,

I am so sorry for my absence from the blogging world. I have no excuses other than I have just been busy living my life. It has been amazing to return to work and start doing other things that don't require me to plan around hospital hospital appointments.

I have a few things to update you all on...

My hair and eyelashes are growing/have grown!!!

(This photo was taken today)


The documentary I did that teensie tiny bit of filming for mentioned here, is on BBC Three at 9pm on Wednesday. It is all about the founder of Coppafeel! Kris Hallenga and it is going to be an eye opener for sure. I would love as many of you as possible to have a watch. She is one amazing lady and she has a story that needs to be heard.


Me and Kris on the day of filming

I have also written my first ever piece for a Women's glossy magazine in the June edition of Cosmpolitan UK (available to buy in May). I am beyond excited to see my very own words in print in my favourite magazine, a dream of mine for a long time.

On October 1st I am going to be taking part in The Show for Breast Cancer Care. This is a fashion show where all the models have had breast cancer. It will completely put me out of my comfort zone but I think this is a good thing. I am really excited about it and can't wait to meet the other ladies and gents taking part.

Since January I have also had a lifestyle overhaul. I have cut out dairy products from my diet (apart from the odd cup of tea and square of dark chocolate, I am only human after all) and have drastically reduced my sugar intake and I feel SO much healthier. I have more energy, my skin is clearer and I am finally losing my chemo/tamoxifen weight. I plan to do a blog post all about what I have learned about nutrition for cancer patients soon. There is a lot of information surrounding the whole "if you have breast cancer should you eat dairy?" topic and whilst I do not believe that every breast cancer patient should remove dairy from their diet, as my tumour was hormone receptive it is just a decision I decided to make. I try to walk 15 miles a week as well, gradually building up my fitness.

I eat things like this...

Dairy free berry smoothie

Porridge with almond milk, blueberries and cinnamon.

Quinoa with red pepper and greens.


I am still obsessed with all things beauty. I am really enjoying having longer hair to style now and really hope to have a side fringe by my birthday in June. I have lots of new favourite products to tell you all about so I guess that is now two blog posts I owe you?

Finally, I have a little favour to ask you all. My 60 year old Dad has rather madly decided to run the London Marathon this year having never run before in his life. He is raising money for Coppafeel! and Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the funds will be split equally between them. If any of you would like to sponsor him please click on the just giving link here. Both of these charities do such great work and any support would be very welcome, even if it is just £1.

So I leave you all for now as I must get ready for the hospital to have some Herceptin but I promise to write again as soon as I can.

I took this photo the week I was diagnosed. I love it.


Love you long time. X

26 Jan 2014

Healthy Granola recipe...


Granola is my all time favourite breakfast. In an ideal world I would eat granola with greek yoghurt and fruit every morning. In reality I am all too aware of the hidden nasties cropping up in my favoured breakfast. The biggest culprit is SUGAR. Since January I have been doing my best to avoid refined sugar and limiting the amount of natural sugar I consume. So guess what? Granola for breakfast has been out of the question. I also avoid dairy, which means no greek yoghurt either. But today my friends, I have been doing some experimenting in the kitchen and I have come up with a granola recipe, which in my eyes rivals all the shop bought varieties. It is packed full of nutritious goodness AND it is super easy to make. Do you want the recipe?



I thought so…





First up let me just explain that you can experiment with ratios of nuts and seeds and include whatever ones you want. I just used the ones I had in my cupboard. I also tried to use organic ingredients but this can be costly so it’s up to you whether you do.



Ingredients:

100g jumbo rolled oats

50g dried dates

30g cashew nuts

30g flaked almonds

15g pumpkin seeds

15g mixed seeds

20g dessicated coconut (unsweetened)

1 tbsp raw organic honey

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut oil 

Method:


1.     Simmer the dates in a small sauce pan with about 1cm of water until soft (about 3 mins).

2.     Drain and then blend the dates until smooth

3.     Combine all the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I bashed up the cashews but you can also leave them whole. Or if you are feeling really crazy have a mixture of both. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature so you can melt it first if you want. I found that the heat of the dates melted it just fine.

4.     Add the dates and mix well.

5.     Transfer to a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 160°C for 15 minutes (until golden brown). Reduce the oven temperature to 110°C and cook for a further 30 minutes until dry and crisp.




6.     Set aside to cool and then transfer to an air tight container to store.




7.     Serve with your choice of milk (I like unsweetened almond milk) and you can even add some berries.





So there you have it my ultra healthy, super yummy breakfast treat. Plus your kitchen will smell AMAZING too.



There is natural sugar in this recipe so try not to munch on it too often and watch portion size!



Love you long time. X

5 Jan 2014

What now?


Hello Bloglets, Happy New Year to you all!

Firstly I hope you all had lots of Festive fun, I know I did. SO a New Year has begun and all people seem to be saying to me is forget last year and just get on with this year.

I want to discuss this a bit.

Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait for life to get back to ‘normal’ this year but even though last year was a tough one I do not want to forget it. It made me stronger. It made me more ambitious to achieve my dreams. But most importantly it made me ME and as much as I wish it hadn’t happened it did and nothing I or anyone else can do will ever change that. HOWEVER although I cannot wait to get back to work, to start planning my travels and to have more adventures I am often reminded of the pain I went through last year. I have regular nightmares, I get jabbed by needles twice a month still and I see scars in the mirror everyday. It is impossible for me to simply move on with my life as though nothing happened and I think it is actually a bit unfair of people to expect me to do so.

The swing side to this is that I do not plan on letting the fact that I had cancer define my life. I have moved on and I will keep doing so but time is the best healer and really I am still undergoing active treatment so actually the nightmare is not over just yet. I am sorry if this post is a little grouchy but I always try to write honestly and this is what I am feeling at the moment. I also know that lots of other people have felt and are feeling the same way and so I thought I would just break the taboo and talk about it a little.

SO what does 2014 hold for me?
The truth is I don’t really know but what I do know is that I can’t wait to see what happens. To have a bit of spontaneity in my life rather than regular appointments etc is going to be a dream. I plan on laughing as much as possible, seeing as much of the world as possible and having as much fun as possible (the blog will be updated accordingly). I hope you can all do the same and I wish you all the best for 2014.

Love you long time. X

9 Dec 2013

Statement Coat Styling Challenge (with Marks and Spencer)...


I am pretty boring when it comes to coats, with the exception of my pink coat almost every other coat I have ever owned has been black or navy blue. I have always been wary of spending money on a coloured coat because I thought there would be limited outfits I could wear it with. I was wrong. When M and S asked if I would take part in their Statement Coat Styling Challenge I jumped at the chance. I chose a red coat, something I think I would normally be too afraid to buy but when it arrived I was immediately in love. Not only is it super warm but the red is really striking too. I suddenly wanted to wear it with everything but eventually I settled on four different looks proving that a statement coat doesn’t just have to be for Christmas it can be a real investment. 

Look one...





Get the look (or similar): Coat. Jeans. Wellies. Jumper. Hat. Scarf.

Look two...


 
Get the look (or similar): Coat. Jeans. Top. Boots. Headband. Bag.

Look three...








Get the look (or similar):  Coat. Shirt. Skirt. Shoes. Bag

Look four...




Get the look: Coat. Shirt dress. Shoes.

So I say go on be bold, take a risk and indulge in a statement coat this Winter...

You can see more of the M and S coat collection here.

Love you long time. X