Working 9-5!

In March last year I left my lovely year 3 class to go on maternity leave. Boy what a maternity leave it has been! Now 15 months later I have returned and man did it feel good! In fact for the first time ever I’m counting down till I go back on Monday. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my girls, but it was so nice to get a part of me back and realise I am good at something else other than being a twin mum! To pee in peace sparked excitement like meeting Bieber at a Mr Tumble show! Then there was the hot cup of tea, nothing can prepare you for how good this will taste and the banter in the staff room. Sadly, I have lost one of my best pals at work as he buggered off to live in South Africa. We are replacing him quickly though and filling the many roles he left behind!!! I can hear my phone beeping already with him wanting the goss now I’ve said this!

I have gone back to a year 6 class who are a joy and we have so many exciting things in the diary before they leave and head to Secondary school in September. I have also found out where I’m teaching next year and although I can’t say anything I am very excited about the new challenge. I’m Pinteresting the shit out of everything!

We opted for a nanny for childcare and all is working out well so far. I mean what’s not to love, I leave them in their pjs and all meals are done and tidied before I walk in the door! I then get to have fun and play before bath and bed! #winning Although it does mean I’m just working for the pure craic as childcare for twins is not cheap!

The best part of going back to work is that the two days with the girls become special and we can enjoy simple activities together.

Life is feeling more normal again. K xIMG-20170609-WA0008

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The prize that just kept giving!

IMG_0309So some of you may remember I mentioned that I won a Mothers Day Breast Cancer Care competition on Instagram. Well last weekend Mother and I took a trip to London to indulge and enjoy our prize!

Just a quick reminder for those that completely missed me bombarding your feed with the details. I won a luxury night for two with bed and breakfast at the London Marriott Park Lane and £500 to spend in Folli Follie on Regent Street.

With childcare sorted in the form of Daddy and Grandad, Mum and I set off for London on Friday morning. This would allow us some shopping time before our appointment at Folli Follie. Within moments of us stepping foot on the train, the girls were already at the local coffee shop drinking milkshakes!! Cue numerous what’s app photos being sent! IMG_0336

We arrived at the Marriott and were greeted by the helpful and friendly staff. Once sat down, with Rebecca, we were welcomed with a tray of delights- a shot of juice, a small chocolate tart and towel to refresh our hot sweaty faces after tackling Oxford Street! Rebecca advised us we had access to the executive lounge and this meant free drinks, afternoon tea, free drinks, tapas and free drinks! Now I’ve been lucky enough to stay in some nice hotels and my parents holiday a lot and don’t exactly scrimp, but this hotel blew both of us away with the service no facilities. I have mentioned Rebecca and I cannot praise her enough.

The time had come to head to Folli Follie and have a spend up! Now being the avid instagrammer I am, I had already checked out some of their products to get an idea of what I might spend my dosh on. We split the amount between us and it was easy to spend! We were greeted with prosecco and Elsa ensured we had a fantastic shopping experience. I basically wanted to see everything!

For those of you that haven’t heard of Folli Follie they sell very stylish handbags, accessories and jewellery. I chose a bag from their new cyclos collection. It’s a practical bag ready for my return to work, whilst Mum went for the smaller sized one that doubles up as a clutch. I also got some gorgeous star earrings, necklace and a bracelet. While Mum opted for a dress watch for her cruises. All in all extremely pleased and I urge you to go and check them out next time you are on Regent Street. Elsa even took the time to pose with us for some pics!

Back to the hotel as our room was ready and this was the prize that just kept giving as we got upgraded to a suite! The room was superb and just what my tired post Cancer body needed to relax! I spent ages video it and sticking it on Instagram! I can’t tell you how much I needed this break and indulgence.

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Mum enjoying the lounge in our suite. 

All in all a bloody fantastic overnight break with the Mothership who thoroughly deserved it after practically being the twins second Mum through this ‘cancer blip’. It was also well timed as they’d just had the twins for a week whilst we were in New York!

So my last word has to be a HUGE heartfelt thank you to Breast Cancer Care  Folli Follie on Regent Street and the Park Lane Marriott.

Katy x

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Earrings and necklace from Folli Follie.

Pretty Muddy.

IMG_0327.PNGSo with treatment over and life steadily getting back to normal, well as normal as it can with twins and the daily worry of ‘it’ coming back, I decided I wanted to give something back. It was mainly prompted by JB and his decision to enter the London marathon.  So I rounded up my girl gang and put it out there about doing the Race For Life ‘Pretty Muddy’ 5k.  Because they are all absolute legends my whatsapp started pinging away and they were all up for it. We will be raising money for cancer research and hopefully helping to fund a cure in my daughters lifetime. What a perfect way to give back and do my bit.

Now I shit you not I don’t run unless you are offering me free prosecco. The mere thought of such a race brings me out in a cold sweat, well these days they are hot sweats, but I BEAT cancer so this will be a piece of piss! Mmm obstacles, this could be hilarious and watching me attempt to throw my cumbersome body over an ‘A frame’ cargo net will not be for the faint hearted. Team, I hope you’ve rembered to do your pelvic floor or we could be in serious trouble!

So training? Apparently I can prepare for this by doing exercise. You mean I can’t just rock up and wing it on the day? Which you know is totally going to happen, but I can show willingly and attempt a training plan. It involves drinking prosecco every night right??

K x

If you read this, know my story or know someone else story and want to help, then please click the word donate.

 

Time to move on.

So tonight I am sat alone, glass of wine in hand, celebrating the end of treatment and the end of cancer. Sadly, JB is away with work so can’t cheers with me, but not long till our trip to NYC (17 days and counting).

It has been the longest 10 months of my life from the intitial trip to the GPs until now. I still have a few follow up appointments and I will be monitored for the next ten years, but I hope to god this cruel bastard does not return.

Moving on is going to be tough and as most other patients do there will be huge anxiety about my future. I have no doubt the enormity of what I have just endured will hit me soon. Battling on and being positive was my only option, with babies in tow you just have to get on. However, there will be quiet moments when I have time to reflect and I may end up a blubbering mess, so work colleagues be prepared to find me in the stock cupboard crying over the laminator!

On the subject of work, that is looming very fast and I now have one month left of the maternity time that was robbed from me. I intend to make lots of happy memories before I leave my girls in the hands of our new nanny for the next step of their life. Whilst some people think I’m rushing back, I guess I want to get back into normality and attempt to get my brain working again. Plus it will be great to be Katy/ Mrs Bailey again and get some of me back. I have missed the children and lucky for me I have missed ofsted! Any teacher reading this will know what joy that brings!!! So Cancer I will thank you for that treat!

Whilst we are on thank you’s this is my chance to say a huge thank you to lots of people who have been there for us as a family to support and help us through this shit storm.

JB- Thank you for being my rock, for loving me despite the change in my appearance, for being an amazing father to our twinkles and for making me smile.

Mum and Dad – without your willingness to practically move in with us to help with the girls and accompanying me to hospital appointments we would not have got to through this. You deserve medals!

Dan/Olga – Thanks for being the best brother and sister in law. Dan thanks for fundraising for Macmillan an amazing charity, without them my treatment would not have been possible.

Miranda/Sam – Your help over the past two days has been incredible and the girls will miss you tomorrow morning! Thanks for starting my new project off 😉

Lauren – For the well thought out and kind gifts for each of my chemo sessions.

Nicola, Helena and Mandy – For taking me to hospital, sitting with me during chemo/radio sessions and having the twins! You have proved the old ones are the best 😘

Chris, Tony and Louise – Family friends through thick and thin. Thank you for having the twins, big ask taking on the two of them especially when I leave them hysterical!!

Natalie – your words of encouragement and support and the gift of my giving key meant the world!

St Nichs crew – For the meals, ironing and kind gifts. We cannot thank you and your big hearts enough!!

Home start – this charity have also been amazing, offering extra support with the twins during this period. My volunteer moved with us and has put in extra hours to help give me a break with the girls. Any multiple mums make sure you tap into this support, they are fantastic.

To all of you who have read this and sent me the kindest of messages they have really helped and kept me going. Stick with me as I will continue to write this blog!

And to finish this post off I have included some pictures to show you what radiotherapy looks like. I thought it would help answer the questions about what it’s like and what happens. So here I am under the machine..

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You can sponsor my brother for his Macmillan golf challenge here

One years old

So that’s it my babies are growing up and I’m not sure how much longer I can refer to them as such???Although I spent a chunk of their birthday at the hospital away from them, they still had a lovely day and my family all arrived from down south ready for their party. Now I know a party with 80 guests seems a bit extreme, especially as they won’t even remember it, but I guess it was more of a celebration for me. When I began organising it I had just finished chemotherapy and wanted to celebrate. I sent the parents off to France to pick up loads of booze (turns out you all love drinking at a kids party as we nearly ran out!) and I decided to serve up chilli  and salads because that would be easy right?! Well in fact I got Jon and some friends to help out making them.

We were lucky enough to have a photobooth at the party as my brother runs Smiley Booth for Herts and Beds. It went down a storm and we have a lovely guest book of memories for the girls. We even managed to somehow fit all of the NCT babies in for a group photo with my great big boat race in the middle!

As usual I spent hours on Instagram and Pinterest getting ideas for the cake and decorations. One day I was ogling food as I usually do and found a local cake maker that supplies a favourite local eatery. I trawled her Instagram feed and low and behold she had a pic of the style of cake I wanted. Claire from Vanilla Cloud Cakes did not disappoint. The cakes were stunning and tasted divine. One guest commented it was so light it was floating off the napkin! I’m now conjering up events just to get another cake! Check out her webpage and Instagram.

The cakes were fairly simple in design with watercolour effect icing topped with fruit, macaroons and flowers. I didn’t want any writing on the cake because I discovered OTHERLETTERS and they make gorgeous cake toppers. I went for Poppy, Lexi and a number 1 in gold and they finished the cake off perfectly. Lots of other people I follow on Instagram highly recommended them and I wasn’t disappointed. Their website is full of gorgeous party decs and a huge range of colours. Linda and Debbie are extremely helpful I also had a birthday banner made, got a one balloon (which I bloody forgot!) and some honeycomb pom poms. All of which looked fab and if I was an Instagram pro I would have got some decent pictures, but instead I was running around like a headless chicken.

cake decs

 

Another lovely Instagram find, Betty Bramble, kindly sent us the most gorgeous Liberty ‘1’ tops and I planned for the girls to wear them to the party.  Last minute I popped to H&M to grab a tutu to wear with them. Turns out that babies don’t like to stay looking pretty and polished, by the end of the day they were both crawling around half naked. I didn’t manage to get a great pic of their outfits, but we did get a rare family shot!

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Yes they are Caffe Nero Christmas cups in the background!

It turns out we put on a good party and everyone had a fab time. For me, it was the perfect celebration after the shitty year it has been!

K x

Radio Ga Ga!

IMG_20170330_162527_089Well I’m 8 rads down and 10 left to go! So far no side effects except pure tiredness from the relentless travelling! Lots of you have been asking what it’s like and if it hurts. The simple answer is no it doesn’t hurt. You basically strip off your top half, lay on a bed and get lined up using the tattoos that had previously been put on you.  Then a machine moves over you and blitzs you! The annoying part is it’s all over in 5 minutes!  I still feel awkward getting my boobs out and being man handled into the correct position, but needs must! Plus it never takes them long to line me up so I can’t be too saggy yet!

Then it’s back in the car and a waiting game to see what the M25 and A1 traffic is like! I did manage to catch the twinbops a couple of times before bed in the first week. My friends have been so supportive taking me to hospital and helping with childcare as I have needed someone to have the pickles everyday. Having a rota helped and people were able to sign up for a slot they could help with. I would definitely recommend doing this if you are also wondering ‘how am I going to manage it all’.

I’m certainly getting a taste for hospital canteens again as all my appointments last week and this week are slap bang in the middle of lunch! Kind of weird sitting with staff that have just blitzed your boobs, but they have seen bodily parts of all shapes and sizes! My smurf breasts aren’t going to phase them.

In other news the hair is growing and sadly not only on my head! I mean obviously I’m desperate for it to grow and look like me again, but seriously quite frankly some of it I could do without and I have not missed one iota!!! Perhaps I’ll bleach it along with my head hair and colour it with awkward peach! 😜

K xIMG_20170406_141859_384

I’m wearing a necklace sent to me by a very thoughtful friend. It’s come all the way from LA from The Giving Keys and it has the word INSPIRE engraved on to it. Thanks Natalie, I know this journey resonates with you more than some xxx

Winner Winner chicken dinner!

Good evening lovely readers! I feel like I have lost my writing style recently and am also aware that I may have seemed a bit down on life. So thanks for sticking along for the ride and reading my little blog. To be honest I have been battling through this and it was bound to hit me at some point! I had a good chat with a friend and it was a huge relief! You know who you are so thank you 😉

Anyway the last two weeks have been great and the twinkles have made some big developmental leaps and their relationship is blossoming. Lexi still hasn’t worked out that hair pulling is not the best way to show your sister affection, but they are loving kissing and cuddling and my god it’s adorable. I was always told about the bond between twins and I am finally starting to appreciate it.

Obviously Sunday was Mother’s Day and I had a lovely time with my girls and JB. Breakfast in bed and some lovely treats. Linked to Mother’s Day I enterered a competition on Instagram. Now I enter competitions on here all the time and never win, so I wasn’t hopeful. The competiton was run by Breast Cancer Care and you had to say why your Mum is a #MumofAKind. I put together a photo collage and explained how Mum has given up her life by the sea to care for the twins and me whilst I go through cancer treatment. Well I only went and bloody won! The prize is amazing, £500 to spend at Folli Follie on Regent Street and a luxury overnight stay at the Marriott Park Lane. I was so excited to let Mum know as she has given up so much for us, so deserves a treat! Plus it can’t be easy watching your child go through cancer treatment. Big love Susie P. Massive thank you to Breast Cancer Care!

 

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Tomorrow I start radiotherapy and whilst I’m mourning the loss of my life for the next three and a half weeks, I’m also excited about everything in the diary over the next few months. Starting next week with the twins first birthday (the one where I got carried away and now have 76 guests!) New York, Spain and then my brothers wedding in the South of France! All these things lead to me needing to start exercise and sort my wardrobe out though! 😱

I’d love to hear about any fun exercise classes that are manageable post cancer treatment. At the moment I’m really suffering with hot flushes and aches all over my body. The aftermath of chemo seems to have hit me harder than during treatment,  let’s hope the radiotherapy isn’t too unkind to me and my skin!

Anyway it’s getting late and I know the twins will be up again soon! So until next time……

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Katy x

Birthday Blues

I’ve  not blogged for a while as to be honest I’ve been finding everything all a bit much. Struggling with parenting guilt and finding the girls incredibly hard. Why does no one tell you that this age is the toughest?! All the support is for newborns, when actually lots of people could do with support at this time. I’m not going to lie Instagram doesn’t help as it only fuels my guilt when I see other twin parents doing things I didn’t and having babies that do things my girls don’t. Then I remind myself people are not all like me and only share the good stuff. Not the reality of this crazy ass parenting gig.

So next week I embark on the next part of this crazy cancer journey and start radiotherapy. Earlier this month I went along for my  CT scan and marking up. I’m now the proud owner of three tattoos, all be it tiny ones, but yet another permanent reminder of all this shenanigans. For those reading this that are sadly on this journey as well don’t panic as they don’t hurt at all.

Due to the travelling and timings of my treatment I basically can’t make plans until the 26th April. To be quite frank it sucks. To make matters worse one of my sessions is on the twins 1st birthday. Now I know you are all thinking they won’t even remember, but I will. Their whole first year overshadowed by cancer and not having a mummy that can give 100%. Luckily their party is planned for the Saturday which is a day off treatment. That would be the party that I have got carried away with, I blame chemo ending and wanting to celebrate! Let’s  just hope I’m not too tired as this is the one of the main side effects. I’m still to buy the girls their presents, I just don’t know what to get. Feel free to share your best buys or ideas.

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Blog post on their party will follow.

 

Birthday Bonanza

Last week was a busy one.The last chemo knocked me for six and gave my body a right good pounding for the last time! Luckily, I started to pick up in time for some birthday treats. The first of which was a personal shopping experience at Mulberry courtesey of one of my friends. Champagne, cakes and handbags what more could a girl want!! Kirsty in the new Bond Street store was amazing and made us feel very at home amongst the bags! She was full of knowledge and made choosing a bag very easy. Thanks Mum and Jon for treating me! Mandy thanks for joining me!

IMG_0294My next treat was a night at the theatre and I saw Funny Girl. If you haven’t seen it, then I highly recommend it. Sheridan Smith was outstanding!

Finally, I was lucky enough to have my make up done. Vicki contacted me and kindly offered to do it for me. I had been discussing with a friend how I feel like a drag queen when I do my make up. Painting on eyebrows, attempting my eyes with minimal lashes all whilst looking at a bald head. I just feel hideous. Having worked at the Cancer Hair Care charity Vicki was experienced in patients who have lost eyelashes and eyebrows. She used some fantastic skin products and made me feel like me again. Armed with my wig and a new outfit and good old MAC lipstick I actually felt attractive and that Mr B would be proud to have me on his arm. You can find/contact Vicki on Instagram at @vickimariamua.

I did have a fab shot of me ready to go out, but  my phone decided to break and I lost all my pictures! These ones are courtesey of Vicki. I have included a very brave before photo to give you an idea of what a fantastic job Vicki did. I can’t believe I’m actually sharing this!

Katy x

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Before. Excuse the state of my kitchen, I have twins!

Cost of cancer

img_0291Money makes the world go round and sadly it’s an additional stress when it comes to cancer. People don’t often want to admit they’re struggling financially but, as I’m discovering, cancer comes at a cost.

When you’re diagnosed with cancer your priority is getting treated and getting better. But as the journey continues you begin to feel the financial implications.

The parking fees from my regular visits to the hospital are already adding up. I appreciate the NHS and see how hard the staff work but they can’t always control how long I have to wait for an appointment. When things over-run and I’m left waiting for a few hours, I’ve started getting anxious about the £££ flying out my purse.

It’s always nice to have your partner or a friend come with you to the hospital, in fact sometimes it’s vital. I know I wouldn’t be able to drive myself home after chemo as I’m often completely shattered. But this means a day off work for them, often unpaid. Most weeks I’ve had 3 appointments, so that’s potentially three days off for my husband.

When I was diagnosed I was supposed to be off work enjoying maternity leave with my new baby girls. This hasn’t exactly been what I imagined. Ferrying back and forth from hospital and trying to sort out childcare is another reason to worry about money. My employers have been supportive and changed my maternity leave to sick pay which is great but I’m not sure what happens when that comes to an end.

Now the first part of my treatment is over we face the next challenge – radiotherapy. This is going to be at Mount Vernon, an hour drive from here. I have to go there every day for three and a half weeks. Rather than worrying about the treatment, I find myself thinking about even more petrol, parking and child care costs!

We’re fortunate to have some savings, but this money was meant to pay our mortgage and support our growing family. We’ll have to hope it can stretch to cover these additional costs too.

I know other people out there must be struggling more than me. I have my husband and family by my side. They’ve made it clear they’ll do anything to support me during cancer. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have someone to share the financial and emotional burden with.

Macmillan want to get more people talking about the cost of cancer and published a new report this week called ‘No Small Change’. That’s why I’ve decided to share my experience here.

If you want to know about the financial support they offer or get involved with their campaign, head to their website or watch this video:

http://campaigns.macmillan.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=70&ea.campaign.id=62170&ea.tracking.id=6efb7d4d

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Katy x