Tag Archives: #30thingsbefore30

Project 30: Get a tattoo

Prior to starting treatment I had to get three small tattoos around my pelvis. This was so the radiotherapy team were able to target the radiation accurately. The tattoos are nothing bigger than the dot of a bic pen. They could easily be mistaken for a few dark freckles. At the time Iceberg and I joked about getting a tattoo. We made a pact. Here I am 15 months later and true to our word, the Iceberg and I have got our first ‘proper’ tattoo. Technically you could say it’s my fourth but I don’t think the NHS freebies count!

If I was ever asked to describe my family I would use the words competitive, weird and loyal. It goes without saying that a family who has a heavy interest in sport is going to be competitive. Some of the biggest arguments Buggernuts and I have ever had have been caused by an innocent game of tennis. Individually we all have our weird traits. The Iceberg has a spoon in her handbag at all times. The reason being it can prevent static on clothes whilst serving its original purpose. The Funny Boy has an incredible gift for locking himself out of the flat and breaking back in. It’s a talert he shows off regularly. I, myself, have more weird traits than anyone: whenever I am alone with Parsnip I have a sing and selfie marathon. The products of which often circulate whatsapp. But for a weird and competitive bunch my family are powerfully loyal. We are a pack and we support each other as one would expect.

When life puts you in tough situations, don't say 'why me'. Just say 'try me'
When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say ‘why me’. Just say ‘try me’

The picture above is one my brother sent me mid treatment. The clear message of ‘Don’t ask why me – instead say TRY ME!’ Is one I have constantly referred to. I am not a huge believer in astrology, that being said I can’t resist reading my horoscope. I am a Leo  which is represented with a lion mascot. Lions are a common symbol found across different cultures and religions. The majority of these use the lion to represent the following characteristics: courage, strength, loyalty and leadership. One of my favourite lines is:

“the lion wins the prize for most relentless fighter in the face of life challenges.”

My mum is the most incredible person I know. She is strong, brave and forever putting her family needs before her own. She is a true lioness. So, if anyone asks me what my tattoo represents? I’ll tell them my lioness is my mum. It represents my pack, my family who I am immensely proud of. And finally, my lioness is a reminder: when life puts me in tough situations simply say ‘Try Me!’ I am a fighter.





Arrow Launch

Whilst going through treatment and particularly during the aftermath in remission I found myself depending on the support provided by Maggie’s. All the staff had this unique ability to verbalise feelings and frustrations in a simple way which could be relayed to friends and family. One analogy which has stuck with me is this:

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.

Upon diagnosis I felt like life had simply stopped. In remission, it felt like I regressed into a vulnerable child. I was reliant on my parents and the funny boy. I lost my confidence. I felt useless. Hopeless with no idea where to start.

The crazy thing is, I am now entering my 7th month in remission and I don’t know where the time has gone. I feel like I am back on an upward trajectory. In the past 5 months I have secured a new job, been selected to participate in the Women in Sport Leadership Academy and I am even getting my fitness back. I have planned and delivered a boccia festival, a conference and, in two weeks, I can hopefully add a wedding to that list. What’s more I am already working towards raising the profile of cancer awareness and particularly the reality of remission which I think often gets overlooked. I am volunteering with Cancer Research who featured my story in the Sunday Mail and today I attended a photo shoot for Marie Claire who will be doing a small article in June’s issue. Life is crazy. Crazy good!

So, as always the staff at Maggie’s were right! I do believe cancer thwarted my original plan but the journey I am on now definitely feels like the right one. And dare I say it? It’s even more exciting!! 

To mark this occasion I am going to start one of the items on my bucketlist which is to take a photo everyday for 30 days! Here is a dreaded selfie of me pre-photo shoot.