Just over a week ago 36 (I know quite a few but to be honest my aunts and uncles were proper catholic families back in the 80’s like everyone else (queue me being murdered) and Siobháin keeps friends for ever from every bit of her life) lovely ladies made their way to Bishopstown House in Westmeath for my sister Siobháin’s Hen Party. It started off right I booked a surprise limo for her and some friends to bring her from Drogheda (Pronounced Drawda) to what was a surprise location for her and what a spot. Siobháin wanted to return the surprise and stopped on route and bought nearly €100 worth of daffodils on what was Daffodil Day. So on the Friday night we stayed in enjoyed way too much prosecco, huge amounts of Vodka but to be truly trendy we cleared 7 bottles of Gin whilst dancing to Joe Dolan classics (Siobháin was until now a closet Joe Dolan Fan) the rest of us just about made the floor as Siobháin and Emma Lennon owned it for the duration of the set played by Ray Dolan (Yes a relative – a nephew) with moves I could only dream off 🙂 It was so special for me for a couple of reasons. The hen was meant to take place a month earlier but at that time I was still resident in St Luke’s in Rathgar and would have lasted for one song with the nausea and tiredness. After convincing Siobháin not to cancel the hen we rearranged it a month, this was hard as the house only had two vacancies for march and April so luckily all the ladies could move and the restaurant for the second night squeezed us in too. I really wanted this weekend to be entirely about Siobháin with the odd mention of the Mayo fella she is marrying (Seán), see Siobháin and Seán got engaged in December 2017 and since then as a family we have lost our gran, our baby niece Catherine, Séamus’s dad (who would be 34 tomorrow, Happy Birthday John), our grandad and my cousin Louise is currently battling breast cancer and then of course her living with me in hospital for my cervical cancer treatment and being a constant rock for me. So the girl deserved a treat and yet she still wanted to bring it round to my cancer with the above picture (it is all about me right? :)). It is important for a number of reasons, in the not too distant future 1 in 2 of us will be affected by cancer and the above ladies represent a wide range of ages, sizes (skinny bitches), lifestyles and backgrounds and are all up to date with smears and I would hope are more aware of their own risks to cancer because Cancer is not racist, ageist or sexist so as woman we must stand up to cancer together. Daffodil Day is so important as it raises much needed funds for Cancer research and services and reminds people that cancer is going no where. I am taking part in Annual Daffodil Day Fashion Show on the 17th April in the Westcourt Hotel in Drogheda with a wee chat and me showing off my best moves, I did do a “show” before now it was around 1990 and in the back of the old Neptune Hotel but god did I LOVE that dress flowers and all and as far as I know it was also for Cancer charities.
You may have noticed it is not far off a month since I wrote a blog. So many people call me so brave for sharing my story about my cancer diagnosis and treatment, but to be honest writing the blog has helped me so much to express my thoughts and worries and to feel like I am doing something. Since getting home I have been at a bit of a loss, I really miss working in Irish Life and hope to get back soon (I know guys who would have thought it) and just being my normal self. Now I need to ‘take it easy’ (my least favourite saying) and reboot when my body feels like it. I am currently taking part in a program to help with the cancer fatigue which is amazing and I feel quite like my old self on the cross trainer or bike flying along until I remember I need to go at speed 1 to catch my breath quite often. Now I am not looking for sympathy I really just want to hone in on the fact that cancer has affected me in ways I just never want to see anyone else go through. Another thing I am far too aware of is mortality and I do not just mean me, I was so upset when the warrior Laura Brennan passed away at the age of 26 leaving a legacy (imagine at 26) behind her of urging parents to get their girls the HPV vaccine. But it is not just illness unfortunately a local lady Sinéad Reilly aged just 41 died suddenly at home and just this week a lady Lynne Browne at just 40 died suddenly at her parents home in Drogheda. I wouldn’t wish this grief on anyone and I know a small part of it from when John Séamus’s dad passed away in his sleep in July 2017 of SUDEP and god it is horrendous to loose anybody but I thoroughly believe in time we must muster the strength to continue on and live the best life we can while we can not in spite of our loss but because of our loved ones loss. I thank my wise philosophy on life to many people including my grandad Jim Godsell who passed away only weeks ago and was the wisest man I ever knew and who lived ever 92 years of his life to the full and remained full of love for everyone around him. Now this is my believe and hope for myself not everyone is able and that is your journey. x
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend celebrating Mother’s Day, we had a lovely meal in town and I got fabulous flowers. It is always nice to spend time with family and nothing better than to do it whilst eating which is my favourite past time. This was after a bit of a weird week as I had a check up appointment in St Luke’s with my nurse Claire (like she is just for me 🙂 ) to discuss the long term side effects of my cancer treatment. In advance I had decided I am not taking the HRT to stop menopause sure I tried the pill as a teenager and was all but committed to an insane asylum, this with my wealth of medical expertise meant I knew best.. two minutes into check up it was apparent I knew nothing. So I need the HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) not just for hormones but because I am in menopause 20 years (give or take) too early and woman past menopause are more likely to get heart disease and osteoporosis so I would be exposing myself to greater risks for a longer period of time. So I will be going on the HRT but hey I hear it is great for your skin so winning all round. Next up was my bodily functions for want of a better word now this is so embarrassing but I am going to admit it … I have recently wet the bed.. twice.. now this annoys me because over the years I have thoroughly enjoyed taking the piss (literally) of those that will remain nameless who after a beverage or two too many have relieved themselves in the bed and now I just join the long queue of pissy drawers (as my grandad used to say) meaning no more over indulging in the Gin and couch surfing for me. Now this could be a temporary think and fixed with pelvic exercise (Remember them ladies.. everyone did them after childbirth right?) we should all be doing these all the time.. who knew? But if it is not I am still in a better position than many I know who endure the different bags (for example colostomy) and just get on with it.. see there is always someone worse off. Now the last update was the very first time since I got diagnosed I got embarrassed, despite the multiple people male and female who discussed my vagina like it was the weather.. and the topic was vagina dilator.. what you ask? (apologies if you are as much of a prude as I apparently am now I am 33 and all) Well this nifty thing is to remind the scar tissue on the wall of my vagina not to heal as one or to put it another way for my vagina to close over.. Siobháin my sister said this was said to me at the beginning and it is a vague memory but to be honest I am still of the opinion that they can take any part of me vagina and all … just leave me.. Anyway I am now tasked with basically training my vagina to well… stay a vagina. See I just used the word vagina a massive 6 times in a row and I am scarlet never mind you! So to recap if you get your smears, get your kids the HPV vaccine you may avoid the following; Early Menopause, Infertility,
Colostomy Bags, Varying degrees of Incontinence and best of all having to learn how to use Vagina Dilators
Remember Cervical Cancer is a Bitch below is a more information on how to get the HPV Vaccine