July 26, 2019 5 min read 39 Comments
The C Word - Part 1
This time last week, I was thinking "Shit how am I going to get through two weeks of schools holidays with the annoying fuckers I call my family."
This week I am thinking shit how fucking lucky am I to have these annoying fuckers in my life and I can't handle the fact that I may not live to see them grow up.
It took roughly a week for my life to change – talk about sliding doors, more like fucking ultraspeed electronic doors
Last week I went from everyday stresses like:
To stressing about one word - The C word and I don't mean cunt!
That moment when you know by the look in your Dr's eyes that she doesn't have great news: "Yes Mrs Phegan it is Breast Cancer and has spread to the lymph nodes and we are not sure where else at this stage."
Well you could have knocked me down with a feather and shoved a kit kat up my arse... I wasn't expecting that!
Warning - if you get offended easily or think that Cancer is not a subject to be joked about – you may as well stop reading now. I have always had a sense of inappropriate humour, it is in my DNA (which I think in my case stands for Definitely Not Appropriate).
I understand that cancer is a very serious subject and pretty much everyone is affected by it one way or another, but inappropriate humour is what is going to fuel me to get through it and for that I make no apologies.
It has taken me two weeks to get back up from that feather and remove the kitkat from my arse – one thing that I have always believed in is that Life is Short, so Have Fun!This has just lighted a bright magnesium fuelled light beam on that phrase and in an instant made me realise what is important to me and just as importantly the shit that isn’t.
With this knowledge of cancer in my body, I am savouring every fucking second of my kids arguing, my dog barking and my husbands crappy jokes and my gorgeous friends who have kept me laughing the whole way through our tears and our wine.
My diagnosis and how it happened:
Two weeks ago - hoovering my sons room and I was feeling particulary stabby - PMS was raging, you know the deal, hoovering (or should I say vacuuming) like you are possessed. I was in a semi rage because my son (who should know better at the age of 10) had taken a packet of extra cheesy Doritos and attempted to eat them in bed. When I say attempted, it looked like he had spilt most of them on the floor and proceeded to walk through them pushing orange crumbs deeper into the light beige carpet.
Hoovering like a wildling - the cord got tangled and I managed to stab myself with the handle. I jabbed myself in the boob (which was tender anyway) and I think I screamed "for fucks sake". It was at that moment that I felt a lump on my boob.
I would like to have said it was while my husband and I were making tender love with each other that he noticed, but no, I was hoovering. Had I waited for the lovemaking it would still be undiagnosed lol…
I rang up and organised a mammogram. I was not overly concerned because I have always had lumpy boobs and check ups previously have been fine. I also have no family history. The mammogram came back all clear… happy days!
Luckily my doctor followed up with me and said we still need to test because there is a physical lump. So ultrasound, biopsy, another mammogram and we have a diagnosis of breast cancer Grade 3 HER2+ which has spread to my lymph nodes.
This all happened in two weeks.
I now have the best oncology team looking after me (I have to say that … my life is in their hands...lol), I started Chemo yesterday. I also have the best bunch of girlfriends to keep me sane and laughing. I call them my booby brigade, they all came round last night - we had a pity party, I got shitfaced.. So any illness I feel today is probably a hangover not from Chemo.
Chemo - first round not too bad. Sat there in a warm comfortable chair for 5 hours, being bought tea and biscuits as they pumped the drugs into me. (Perjeta, Herceptin and Taxane.) They gave me a heated blanket, painted my nails black (apparently they become very sensitive to light) and gave me some cold gloves to put on and then just told me to sit back and relax... I can't remember the last time I was treated like a queen.
They gave me lots of drugs to take home and today I am feeling ok just a bit tired (but that's my usual state anyway! Lol).
My Next round of Chemo is in three weeks. I will update you via this blog as it is cathartic for me and hopefully it may help others who are on the same journey.
Where to from here?
Running your own business is fun but a bit scary financially. I persuaded my lovely husband BUDGET BEN to leave his job of 13 years and join me in running our family inappropriate gift company. Our lovely customer service guru Sophie and mum of 4 also works her butt off for our Gift Co. It is just the three of us.
Any support in terms of shopping at our store would be fantastic…maybe you could do your Christmas shopping early? We will also be working on a range of inappropriate cancer gifts for people like me… who use inappropriate humour to get through trauma.
We will be donating 10% of profits from every product sale to Cancer Research.
My friends suggested I start a go fund me - I am the last person to ask for charity nor did I want my friends to play the sad card for me. I have a shitty 12 month journey ahead of me, but I’m lucky, they say it’s curable and that is all that matters. I did go ahead and set one up though as I want to do everything I can to keep the gift co running during this bumpy ride. Feel free not to donate, but here is the link in case you want to :)
Love Lori and the crazy fuckers I call my family X