Me and my story

On the 23rd November 2012 I was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 22. I got my head around it for a couple of weeks then I named my lump Kenneth and began telling my story to the blogosphere.

WHY?
I was determined to make something good out of a bad situation. I write this blog to try and raise awareness of breast cancer in younger women. I also hope that by telling my story other people going through a similar thing will find helpful hints and tips on how to cope with the obstacles fighting the big C can throw at you. These obstacles include everything from hair loss and other fun chemotherapy (toxic nasties) side effects, to keeping a sense of humour when times get tough. I really wanted to show that fighting the big C doesn't have to be all doom and gloom plus I LOVE writing so this blog is fun for me :-).

ACTION PLAN KICK KENNETH'S ASS
6 sessions of chemo- 3x FEC and 3x Taxotere (finished May 2013).
Herceptin treatment every 3 weeks for a year (started March 2013).
Surgery: double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (18th June 2013).
Tamoxifen tablets for 5 years (started August 2013).
Radiotherapy (tbc).

BEAUTY
I love all things beauty and so I spend quite a lot of time blogging about the beauty side of my battles with Kenneth. I try to prove you can still be beautiful whilst fighting the big C!

FASHION
I am addicted to online shopping. It's a serious problem. I can't claim to be one of those uber stylish fashionistas but I like to show pictures of what I've been wearing and how I've been accessorising the whole no (or now very short) hair thing.

FOOD
Like most human beans I love food. During chemo I developed an unexplainable love of peas (who knows why?) thankfully this has now passed but occasionally I fill you in on what I've been eating. There is some evidence of a link between dairy products and breast cancer so I try to eat a dairy free diet as much as possible. Obviously I make the odd exception for chocolate/ice cream/cake (I'm only human after all).

Sometimes I tell funny stories. Sometimes.
The big C puts me in some pretty random situations and me being me something embarassing/cringe usually happens, so I make sure I let you all know when it does.

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME
  • I studied Biology at Bristol University and graduated with a 2:1 in 2011.
  • I own about 50 nail varnishes.
  • When I'm not busy watching Disney films or filling up online shopping baskets, I'm trying very hard to write a book.
  • I am a little bit OCD and actually enjoy cleaning *cue sharp intake of breath.
  • I spend many a night happily dancing around the living room in my pyjamas.
  • In case you haven't already guessed my favourite colour is pink.
  • I like making lists.
  • I'm on a constant quest for the perfect eyebrow.
  • I really like glitter.
  • I live in a beautiful part of the country and like to walk around it.
  • I love to travel.
  • I hate wasps.
  • My favourite animal is a duck.
  • I wear pink lipstick a lot.
  • I love a bit of karaoke. 
 

18 comments:

  1. Anonymous6.3.13

    BAlD is VERY beautiful - Fabulous Laura !

    Love
    Heidi

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  2. Just discovered your blog via Russell Brand which has got to be the coolest way to get a blog doing the rounds! I work in the drugs business and have spent much of that in oncology, and have had several close friends/relative battle the big C, including breast cancer, so understand a lot of what you're going through. Haven't had time yet to read the back trail but will do, but from the little I've read so far I just wanted to say well done and to wish you all the best. Keep writing - it's things like this that are truly inspirational and put other shitty things into real perspective. Btw you look stunning bald and wigged :)
    Good luck, lynda

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  3. Anonymous27.3.13

    Laura what a true inspiration you are.
    How do you do it?
    How do you find all this amazing energy and positivity?
    In a world in which complaining and taking anything for granted has become a habit- you are genuinely a young bright beautiful person many people should look up to.
    Keep it up, keep sharing your amazing story and never stop being so positive.
    All the best,

    Virginia

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  4. Hi Laura, I just found your blog and have spent several hours reading your posts. You're incredible. I don't know how you stay so positive but keep it up. You're doing brilliantly, you look gorgeous and fingers crossed the rest of your treatment goes ahead without making you feel too too rough.
    Good luck and all the best,
    Laraine xx

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  5. Hi Laura,

    Wow! What a true inspiration you are, I think it's great you have such a positive attitude shows how strong you are.
    I hope your treatment is successful and Kenneth buggers off soon!!
    Emma x

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  6. Anonymous30.4.13

    Elsie! Its Sarah Bannocks! Just had a catch up on here. Your a very very brave chick and I hope your ok and feeling as happy as can be! Keep writing and posting photos! I'm living in Britsol now so if you want a little frollic away, hit me up bitch! Love you long time, non squad-squad forever! xxxxx

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  7. Hi Laura,

    I have a quick question for you regarding your blog, but I couldn't find your contact information. Do you think you could send me an email whenever you get a chance?

    Thanks,

    Cameron

    cameronvsj(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Anonymous3.5.13

    Hang in there Laura.......
    Carlos from NZ (Stage 1 Seminoma - had my first treatment today of carbo)

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  9. Truly inspring, had appointments myself over the last few weeks with my local breast care clinic. Can't imagine what you are going through but I applaud your bravery.

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  10. Absolutely fantastic blog. Keep fighting you are an incredible inspiration x

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  11. Hi Laura Louise,

    I read about your blog on the Telegraph website and put your blog name in Goggle and have just finished reading it since this morning.

    I found your comments and pictures at times both funny and moving. I feel so inspired and uplifted by your positive attitude, tenacity and determination to not let Kenneth beat you. I main reason why I sought out your blog was that it is very close to my heart as my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in 16 (I am now 28) and she never spoke about the cancer or her struggles or her feelings with myself or my sister (it’s quite therapeutic to read your comments and so understand a bit more about how my mum was feeling at that time). She always stayed positive throughout - at least in front of us. Sometimes I wish she could have been honest with us but I know she was protecting us to not get hurt or worried about how she was feeling. We always felt that she was going to beat it and that she believed it too!

    She always went to work (unless she was feeling really REALLY bad and then we knew that she was having a bad day), she always made an effort with her clothes, makeup, shoes (she bought HUNDREDS – including an AMAZING pair of bright cerise pink stilettos! YUM!) and loads gorgeous long dangly earrings – just to make her feel good! She bought a wig once but hated it so much that she never wore it again (she found it a pain and too hot in the summer that it went back in the box and into the back of the wardrobe). She then invested in some lovely silk scarves when we went on holiday one year but often went bare-headed as she said she didn't want to pretend she didn’t have cancer - it was her fight like her scars and she didn’t want to hide! She also said it made her feel very free.

    After she was given the all-clear, she wanted to grow her hair and then dye it back to brown (so make it look just like it did before she had the chemo) but my Dad said he wanted her to keep it short and not dye it – to keep it silver as he thought she looked sexy and just like Jamie Lee Curtis! My Dad telling my mum she looked beautiful and sexy – even when she felt horrible definitely helped her with her self-esteem!

    Since she has had the all clear, she has done a lot of work for Breast Cancer and Cancer UK, volunteering and making jewelry for the charities. She makes the jewelry at home and sells it at various fairs and functions and gives the money to breast cancer (I’m not just saying it because she’s my mum – but it’s really classy and follows the latest fashions). She also volunteers at a local cancer centre, where she has jewelry making classes and flower arrangement classes for the patients and then sells a lot of her jewelry afterwards to them and the nurses.

    My mum has always been a very strong Christian and even through her darkest times, she never lost her faith in God – where as I struggled and had a very difficult time. For a long time I didn’t speak to God because I blamed and hated him for giving cancer to my mum. But she believes (rightly or wrongly) that she had cancer for a reason and she has used all the crappy, horribly experience she had and turned it in to something beautiful - the negative in to a positive to help others who are fighting to overcome cancer.

    Just what you are doing and I think truly you’re amazing for that!

    Stay strong and looking beautiful (bald and wiggy!)

    Love Annaliese x

    P.S. My mum’s favorite colour is also PINK!

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  12. Hi there. I wish hospitals would give a link to your blog rather than some of the information I have been given over the last 7 months since being diagnosed with Lymphoma. It does not matter wether you are young or old if you undergo chemo you still have to show yourself out there in the big bad world and you want to look your best. They go on about losing your hair which I did accept with ease, but what they don't explain is it is your hair everywhere. Losing eyelashes was more scary than the hair on the top of my head and that was a shocker.
    I gave up on the scarf or wig the NHS provided and have spent most of the time being bald and proud. When going to work you don't get pointed at as I assumed annoying school kids might do, the only recognition was from fellow chemo heads who stared more than anybody from under their scarf.
    Love the blog and with the press coverage this weekend in the papers I hope it brings you lots of success.

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  13. Anonymous16.10.13

    ur such an inspiration girl!!!!all my love and respect...deppy, greece

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  14. I found your blog through BBC Brazil website. Is amazing the way you decided to walk through this path, with optimism and a different view. Congratulations! My respect and greetings from Brazil!

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  15. Anonymous19.10.13

    Dear Laura, I just read about your blog on "Spiegel Online" and I immediately had to check it out. My mother died of breast cancer when I was just a little 2-year-old child, and though I do not really know or remember her I've been missing her ever since. I have already thought about the possible danger due to genetic endowment. Just in case I happen to get cancer, too, I will try to cope with it like you do. You are truly inspiring and strong, thank you for this! With best regards from Germany :) Olivia

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  16. The more I read about you, the more awesome I think you are. And the more I think about it, the more jealous I am of your nail polish stash. :P

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  17. Anonymous3.6.14

    Hi Laura. I have just read your blog in the glamor magazine. I loved reading it. Your positivity is great. I of course have my own story. But I was wondering would u share where u purchased your pink wig. It's fab and I have been trying very hard to get one just like it.
    Thanks again.

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  18. Skiability Doug19.6.14

    Heard you on the radio last night. I haven't been through the trauma of cancer but I have more than my fair share of knocks. Like you I keep positive and smiling. I now run a community enterprise for people less fortunate than myself. What exactly do I do - take them for fun on the water, including water skiing. Everyone is included so if you fancy something a little different you can find me at www.skiability.co.uk. Keep Smiling.

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