Me, a mastectomy and a pair of fluffy socks!
Hello – I know I have already written several blogs about my story but I feel it is now the right time to share a little more as I am a bit further down the line in my life, especially as so much has changed for me over the last few years.
As you are probably aware I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, 2015 and 2017. My previous blogs share more about the story and how I felt and the impact it had not only on me but on those around me as well. It was a difficult time but I have always remained upbeat and found a sense of humour was essential!
Well, 3 years down the line, a double mastectomy later and I am hugely happy with my lot in life and wanted to share with you how living with the physical and mental changes has influenced my decisions and made me into what I hope is a loving, caring and kind human being, with a bit of ambition thrown in for good measure!
I decided to have another photo shoot done because I feel like my attitude to life is different now and I wanted images that would reflect that. My first photoshoot was amazing, I was nervous but it was something that I really wanted to do. I felt proud of my scars and wanted to bare all! But now, a few years down the line I am used to my scars. I feel they are there to remind me of a blip in my life’s path and one that has shaped my new road.
My scars can still be sore and cause me some discomfort and a little frustration when I find a yoga move difficult and occasionally I feel like I have a phantom boob that needs a scratch which is a bit weird! However, I embrace the fact that I can run without a sports bra and lie flat on my tummy without them getting in the way – see, always a silver lining!
Cancer made me acutely aware of my overall health but I think what can sometimes happen is we focus solely on what we are putting into our bodies, which is clearly hugely important, but what we are putting onto it gets a bit lost. Our skin is our biggest organ and will definitely benefit from being treated kindly.
I feel incredibly lucky that I used my diagnosis to steer me in a different direction and that I could start my own natural skincare company with a purpose – to make everyone happy in their own skin. Whatever we’re going through, whether it’s a cold, cancer, an operation or something more emotionally draining, I believe by nourishing your skin you can also nourish your heart a little too.
There is nothing now that gives me more pleasure than when someone places an order for a gift to send to someone else with a little note saying – I am thinking of you, or get well soon, or I love you. What would bring me the most joy is for someone to send it to themselves as well – heh, you’re an amazing friend, or great job this week at parenting! You get my drift.
We, and I think women in particular, are not very good at putting ourselves first, at truly looking out for ourselves, and as a result we can often be left feeling frazzled and tired and worn out. Having cancer has taught me to appreciate myself more. The prospect of leaving my children without a mum terrified me so now I am getting to be ok with doing things for me, spending some time on me and doing things I want to do. A slow but steady process!
Puremess has allowed me to nurture people by making products that I know are good for them and will make them look and feel good. That is so important to me, to make people happy with who they are, to soothe eczema, to reset a complexion, to heal dry skin. The whole family mucks in as well which brings a huge smile to my face!
So having cancer hasn’t been all bad. It has brought me a different happiness, has forced me to really get to know what I want out of life and strive to get there. I am already looking forward to my next update a few years from now!
I just want to say a huge thank you to Caan from Stepping Stones Branding for kindly agreeing to take the photos for me. She made me feel instantly comfortable. This time it wasn’t just about me getting my kit off, it was about reflecting how I look in everyday clothes and how I am most comfortable. I hope you agree we managed it together!
One of my favourite photos is of my feet in stripy fluffy socks – that is exactly who I am! I am a fluffy sock sort of girl – which I think is a sign that I love Autumn – the cosiness, the roaring fires, twinkly lights and beautifully scented candles.
With hand on heart I am grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life. Long may it continue…
Until the next time, take care
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