Let’s start positively (this is a happier post than the previous moan!)… I’m now halfway through my treatment and have only got 3 cycles left. That means 6 more chemotherapy days until I’m done. I know I can do it because I’ve already done it, so onwards and upwards and let the countdown begin – roll on 13th February. It’s not that far away! Since the last post I definitely feel better; less emotional, less down and much less stressed with the whole thing. I haven’t been doing much other than looking after Ivy, going to appointments and seeing family, and I think taking some time to not rush around has really helped. Saying that, I do feel like I’m neglecting my friends a bit – sorry if you’re one of them – but I’ll make it up to all of you when this is over. Prosecco all round! The whole ‘hibernation’ thing that I’m doing is mostly to stop me picking up colds or bugs and I know they are rife at this time of year. My bloods dropped to an all time low of 0.42 last week which scared me a little – it put me in the neutropenic category which means I basically have no immune system. However, at my clinic review last Wednesday they had risen to an all time high of 1.42 – what a difference a week can make. It’s strange how much they can change in a week and the Doctor couldn’t really offer an explanation as to why it happens like that. It might be a delayed reaction from the chemo, I may have picked up a small infection… who knows! Main thing is that I managed to go on my night out! Literally the only night out I had planned was a Motown Night at Alexandra Theatre on Friday night. Whether I went or not completely depended on my blood results – luckily they were high and I was in a safer position to go. It was such a fun night apart from the gridlock in town – we ended up being 20 mins late for the start and had to abandon our taxi and run. Totally worth it though and it felt good to be out, have a drink, be baby-free and relax.
I’m going to take a slightly different topic for this blog… and this is a serious question to all you Mums out there…
“Is it normal to lose the ability to dress well once you’ve had a baby?”
Some of you are probably thinking, ‘No! I still look great everyday and love all of my clothes’ (good for you – I’m not bitter in the slightest..), but hopefully there are others out there thinking, ‘Oh my God, I totally know what you mean!’ Now, I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few weeks and I’ve decided there are a combination of factors that affect this question:
- The ‘Mum Tum’. For those of you that don’t know what this is, imagine a jelly band around your middle. It’s never been there before, it’s a different texture to when you’ve just put on a bit of weight, and it might have an animal print pattern from where your baby has stretched the hell out of your skin.
- The ‘Comfort Clothes’. Let’s face it, the days when you don’t have any playdates, appointments or shopping to do, you’ll have your ‘go-to’ comfy clothes. They might be a wonderful mismatch of pjs, hoodies, slippers, ski socks (and in my case a bobble hat).
- The ‘Breastfeeding Access Clothes’. I only had this issue for 4 weeks, but talking to my friends, this is a high contributor to the lack of style us Mums might have. How good can you look when you have to be able to give your baby access to your chest? Imagine layers, baggy overtops and dribble/milk stained bras.
- The ‘9 month transition’. We spend 9 months getting our heads round having a baby and go through lots of body changes – where we’ve been trying to be as skinny as possible our whole lives (either in reality or just moaning that we aren’t as skinny as we’d like), we then have to embrace this huge bump growing out of our belly. And then we have a baby and have to get our heads round the belly that’s left over. If you think about it, it’s like psychological warfare.
Anyway, I can’t seem to feel good in any of my clothes at the moment. Finding something to wear for the Motown Night was awful – the timing of Black Friday was great and I ordered the majority of ASOS, New Look, Dorothy Perkins and Topshop (these shops in particular because they all have a tall section) and I ended up keeping a couple of items, but putting on top after top, dress after dress and hating what I looked like was horrible. Add into the mix I have no hair and without make up my eyes look bald too, it just didn’t go that well. Jeans cut right into the jelly belly leaving me with a lovely double roll, dresses cling to the jelly belly instead of skimming over it, and tops don’t sit right because if they fit over the jelly belly, they’re too big on the top!
Picking comfort over style is also a major contributor. Getting up in the night to feed a baby, having a lie in when the baby is, staying in the house a lot more, and not having to make yourself presentable to go to work all result in ‘slob gear’. Whilst I’m writing this I’m wearing Christmas pj bottoms, fluffy slipper boots, a grey hoody and a multicoloured bobble hat. This is probably what I’m going to stay in all day – we’ve got food in, we have nowhere to be, I’ve got treatment tomorrow so today is a rest and relax day. The thought of putting restrictive jeans on and then finding a top which does not show my jelly belly roll is just too much – that can wait until tomorrow when I actually have to leave the house.
Because I have no shame, here is a picture I sent to my sister of my new oxblood, leather look trousers. I like them, they are very comfy and they have a high waist with elasticated sides so the jelly can be tucked in, but where the hell has my bum gone? It’s nowhere to be seen. It’s never been a perfect peach but I definitely used to have one. It now merges into my thighs and it’s more or less a straight line. If anyone has seen my bum, please send it back to me. Ignore the spilt nail polish on my carpet – just another thing I need to sort.
I have been reassured that it’s early days and the jelly will go – to be fair, it is getting better and I think I’m being a little impatient, but where I was planning to get straight back into exercise and sport, my body is too tired to do it. After I finish treatment, I’m going to get back into Netball and Tennis and hopefully this will help in the removal of the pudding-like roll. It is frustrating that I feel like this – I kick myself and tell myself off for being so bothered by my appearance, but it actually does have a mental and psychological impact on me. I think this is heightened with the other stuff that’s going on like my hairloss etc. – don’t get me wrong, I like dressing up and going out, and when I leave the house I’m fairly happy with what I look like but it’s the preparation that’s a killer, and the time spent routing through my wardrobe. I have had to re-tidy my wardrobe so many times – I pull out shelves, throw stuff on the bed, try on clothes that I know I can’t fit back into yet (just in case I’ve lost 5 stone overnight) before settling on the old faithful outfits that I’m currently living in.
To help with all of this, I’m following the Slimming World diet again. My official weigh-in day is Wednesday morning and last Wednesday I had lost 5lbs. This was more than I thought I would and I’m certainly not going to be losing this much every week but it’s a good start and has made me feel loads better. I will get into that skirt by Christmas!!
Since the last post, I definitely feel better. I’m starting to get my head around what’s happened and what I need to do to get through the remaining treatments. It’s not that far away and I’ve got a few things in the pipeline to look forward to. Christmas is going to be so much fun, especially with it being Ivy’s first Christmas, and we started this weekend by putting up the Christmas tree and decorations. Andrew and Cameron sorted the lights outside the house, and us girls did the tree. I bought us all Christmas pjs to make it an extra cheesy family day… it’s pictures like this that you look back on and wet yourself laughing at!
Ivy has now been to 2 Rhythm Time classes – Elizabeth is taking her as I’m not allowed – and I think she’s enjoying them. Elizabeth said Ivy seems to be more interested in looking at the other babies rather than what Elizabeth is doing and I’m not sure who enjoys the Conga and the Hokey-Cokey more, Elizabeth or Ivy. We also managed to get a playdate with Hannah and the lovely Stanley – trying to get them both to smile for a photo was too hard so here are 2 pictures of each of them smiling:
I also want to say a big thank you for all of your kind words and messages after my last blog. I know it wasnt a happy post but all the comments and messages I recevied were amazing and have really helped. Writing a blog is strange because you have no idea who’s reading it or what people think unless they tell you, so the feedback is really appreciated.
x x x