Last Wednesday I met Doctor Gilmore my oncologist in St Luke’s in Rathgar to find out the results from my MRI and PET scans. We (myself, my mam and sister) sat down in the exact same room I sat in back in December 2018 (to be told all about my treatment plan for Cervical Cancer) to hear whether or not I was cured. My mam and Siobháin were awkward as f*ck, wanting to cry, laugh whilst seeming normal around me (they failed) well that was until Dr Gilmore said the scans look good and she thinks the cancer is gone but wants to examine me to be sure. Siobháin told us to stop chatting and for her to check me out (examine me internally… fun) .. and after a good look and feel around my insides the doctor said I was CANCER FREEE! We couldn’t believe it and to be honest I still can’t believe it. We headed back to Drogheda to celebrate I rang the family, friends and work on the route home to share the good news. I was just blown away with how happy and relieved everyone was for me. I don’t think I’ve even come back to everyone yet.. so thanks everyone. One of my favourite moments was meeting Séamus at school to tell him all the Cancer was gone.. his smile would have stopped traffic. I can’t tell you how hard it has been to see the worry on his face throughout the last six months, particularly at a time when his hormones are in full swing and he should be able to look to his mam for normality and instead I’ve been in hospital, getting treatment, very unwell and most recently in full menopause. He is my hero.. after telling him Séamus said see ya later (he had plans with his friends) so we headed to town (Drogheda) to celebrate… and it a Wednesday!
I forgot I was in my 30’s and it was a school night and hit the prosecco followed by gin like a 21 year old! It was the best feeling I’d had in quite a while, many tears and just disbelief and I am so bloody grateful that I got to have this moment with my best friends. We hit weavers and partied like teenagers, well maybe that was just me? 😉 Emma in the weavers was just fabulous we got complimentary prosecco and sex on the beach cocktails… She even organised for us to get a drink at the Cross Bar, so when we should have been hitting taxis home we headed up George’s street and it was like going back to my 16 year old self getting turned away by Tony in fusion.. they wouldn’t let us into the cross… not entirely sure why because we all had ID 😉 😉 and well have all passed the 30 mark a good while, but not letting anything ruin our mood we joined the locals in Gleesons and well suffice to say the picture below is me the next morning… scarlet
Honestly Thursday I was a bit depressed and very emotional but then I remembered it was mams birthday … 21 again! So after a dioralite and a couple of paracetamol I pulled myself together. The family had a great dinner in my newly decorated kitchen and I managed not to give anyone food poisoning.. win win… happy bday mam! But to be honest since then my head has been all over the place I feel like I should be on cloud nine but I just can’t get there, I’m not fighting Cancer anymore but I am not feeling great and my body and head are arguing as to what I should be doing. I am so happy but so doubtful of what the future holds at the same time, I’ve heard of survivors guilt and thought it was only for soldiers or survivors of disasters but I get it, I feel terrible for the girls I met in hospital and my cousin who are still waiting to get the cancer free news and to those who won’t get the news and those who have already lost the battle against cancer.. I feel heartbroken for them all the while I am trying to appreciate what I have been gifted with.. a second chance. But everyday gets better it’s just a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
After the celebrations on Wednesday I really wanted to mark the all clear with something … different… so I decided to do a skinny dip. Now my entire childhood and teens I swam in the Irish Sea at Bettystown beach but since then I’ve only managed to swim in a wetsuit so jumping in in the nip was a bit daunting. I’d heard so much about the stripanddip in aid of Aoibheann’s Pink Tie but hadn’t got around to doing it. I asked around and well none of my friends and family were up for it so I thought feck it I’m going to do this. To those who don’t know about Aoibheann’s Pink Tie it is a charity started by a man called Jimmy who’s daughter passed away because of cancer and he wanted to help those having to go thorough the same battle they unfortunately lost. Last year the strip and dip broke the Guinness World Book of Records for the largest skinny dip and raised enough for a house to be purchased.. Aoibheann’s Light House is for families who’s children are getting treated for cancer on St Johns ward in crumlin. For me and the shit I went through and my family and seeing how hard it was for everyone was heartbreaking .. yet I think I was a 33 year old lady and I just cannot imagine having to watch my child never mind my baby fight the asshole of a disease that is cancer and to worry about mundane crap like paying rent or bills it seems unfair, Aoibheann’s Pink Tie has been able to help every family that has asked for help. Anyway look them up for more information, but I felt like it was a match made in heaven me celebrating how wonderful my body is and raising money for a fantastic charity all in memory of Fionn McKenna. Fionn grew his angel wings at just 2 years and 7 months and my heart breaks every time I think of him or his family and how unfair cancer is, so I asked Lyndsey (his mammy) if could do it in memory of Fionn and she said yes. So I hit Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and whatsapped everyone I knew and in just over 24 hours together we raised €820. This just reminds me how lucky I am with the people around me and my community, when the shit hit the fan I could not of asked for more. If you would still like to contribute please click here or I have a donate set up through Facebook too.
And so about the dip. Saturday morning I got up at 6 am to hit the road. I had a quick shower and thank god the bikini line had calmed down and no longer looked like chicken pox (I’m just being honest I know we all do it last minute and well it is virtually always a disaster.. thank god for sudocream). Anyway 2 hours driving later I got to the Arklow Bay Hotel and I was shitting it with nerves and excitement, I walked up to two girls Isabel and Aideen who were having breakfast and asked if I could join them and they said of course (I felt like I did back starting Greenhills secondary school knowing nobody but I did it) anyway long story short spent the day with these two ladies and another lady who drove from Fermanagh Michelle. The feeling the entire day was just soooo wonderful and it was by far the best thing I have ever done. Now I am a size 12, 14 and 16 (depends on the day, the shop and the style), my stomach resembles a train track after childbirth, I have cellulite and For the last 20 years words like.. fat, big, untuned… ugly, flabby were my norm when talking about my body.. no more. In six months my body has got cancer and beaten it, it gave me a child after a very normal healthy pregnancy and well I have a new respect for it and how good I have it. So to anyone who doubts themselves and thinks they are not in keeping with the supermodels size 6, be happy and kinder to yourself and do a skinny dip.. I am booked to do another one for the oncology ward in the Lourdes hospital .. let me know if you’d like to get involved it’ll be a good laugh.
Since the dip I have just been readjusting to life, I was in LMFM again and I would really like to reiterate a couple of things… first give blood.. 67% of all blood donations are used in cancer treatment, secondly please get your children the HPV vaccine.. it works .. this year for the first time it will be available for boys, cervical cancer can be stopped together with smears and the hpv so let’s do it… and lastly look around enjoy life and don’t sweat the small stuff you have a responsibility to be happy so make it happen and don’t waste a minute.. listen here to me on LMFM
My future… well it’s looking bright. I need a bit of time to recoup and rebuild by strength but I am well on the way. Today I got a call from my doctor and I freaked thinking oh shit did she look at the wrong results .. no well my vagina is closed up a bit so I am going in next week for a procedure so I envisage me having a designer vagina. ..messing…. I will keep you updated. Follow the blog if you’d like I can’t thank you all enough… #CervicalCancerWasABitch