Fighting fit!

IMG_0401Two years ago JB started using a personal trainer as he wanted to make huge differences to his lifestyle and mental wellbeing because lets face it he is a grumpy arse if he doesn’t get his own way.   I’m pretty sure I moaned about said trainer for those 2 years. It was costing too much money, it was taking him away from dad duties. You name it I threw it at him, when really he was making positive changes for us all. The transformation is pretty incredible and I no longer need to perv over his men’s health magazines as I have the real McCoy in front of me!

Now me, I’m the kinda girl who hates media pressure. That idea we should look a certain way because celebrities and the media flaunt it at us daily. I HATE the gym with a passion and my anxiety has caused me so many issues with regards to working out and pushing my body out of it’s  comfort zone. I know so many people that are obsessed with the gym and they can’t enjoy life without panicking they haven’t done 6000 sit ups. I just don’t get it. Or at least I didn’t until now.

I hate to keeping banging this drum, but it was after getting the all clear from cancer that I thought maybe I should do something to ensure I remain well and healthy for a long time. Jon and I had many conversations about his trainer and how he felt he could help me. Of course I poo pooed it every time. I mean seriously going to the gym is one thing, but a personal trainer is another. Anyway one day something just clicked and I thought I need to do this, I have to make these changes and face my fears. Before I could question it Jon had booked me in with the PT the next week. My theory was if it’s good enough for Beyoncé after her twins, it’s good enough for me!!

It’s always funny when you meet someone for the first time when you have heard their name for the past two years. Totally not the image I had conjured up 😂 Sorry Simon. Anyway our first session was pretty chilled and focused on my goals and taking measurements, blood pressure 😬 and a body composition test.

As I arrived for my first training session I was very nervous. I haven’t worked out for years and my body has been through a lot. Simon took me outside and decided we would train overlooking the golf course. Great- loads of men staring at  some unfit, out of shape bird trying not to embarrass herself as she pathetically throws down the medicine ball. I soon lost myself and was more concerned about breathing and not passing out. Queue lying on a mat outside trying to recover! How has my husband enjoyed hanging out with this dude for the past two years? I just want to kill him!!!! I was happy when the boxing gloves were out and I could release some aggression.

I’m now three sessions in and I hate to admit it, but I’m LOVING it. Simon has tailored the sessions to meet my goals and push me to the max. They are fun, plentiful of banter and he has made me feel very relaxed and at ease in an environment that I feel very uncomfortable in. I have also started going to circuits with my twin mum buddy Kim. I literally don’t know myself anymore and am hoping bundles of body confidence comes once I see results. Small changes are happening already and I will be that sparkly KB again. I want to turn heads in a room not because I have twins, not because I’m sick, but because I’m me!!

I will be blogging about my progress as I hope to reach my goals by Christmas or at least make a significant improvement- no pressure Simon!!

For those of you that are Hertfordshire based, Simon and his wife Kelly run http://www.herts-es.co.uk. Kelly is a sports therapist and I have been lucky enough to experience her work and would highly recommend. Simon is a PT and you can watch my progress to see how he acheives his results!  I can already speak highly of him due to the changes in JB that I have witnessed first hand.

 

 

 

 

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Special day

 

IMG_0393I knew from the off that I wanted this treat for just Jon and I. Don’t get me wrong I love my girls, but the chance to just be us and drink cocktails at 2pm was too tempting. Cancer really takes a hold of your life in every aspect and you just exist. Life becomes embroiled in hospital appointments, treatment, sorting out childcare and generally trying to stay alive!

We decided to go to Edinburgh and were given 2 nights accommodation at The George, return train tickets and an activity of our choice. Now being new parents of twins and having cancer meant meals out together didn’t really happen. We used all our babysitting passes for hospital appointments so we don’t go out as much as we’d like. So a meal out had to be our activity choice.

Liz sorted everything. I took her advice and she booked the Witchery for our meal. The only thing I had to do was sort childcare for the weekend.  Mmmm who would want twins for a whole weekend??? Turns out Jon’s step sister was more than happy to have them single handed. So with that in place we were all ready to go. Never have two people been so excited about a 4 and a half hour train journey!! We couldn’t get out the door quick enough, I was already dreaming of  sneaky bevvie on route!

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On a side note if you haven’t taken the train up to Edinburgh then you really should. The scenery once past Newcastle is beautiful and I always wanted to train along the coast line.

We arrived at our hotel to a FREE bottle of wine (great start) and the staff were so attentive referring to us as VIPs. I can’t tell you how nice it was to then just head out and sit outside a pub and enjoy the sunshine and a few cocktails! No appointments, no cancer worries, no dodgy NHS wig and no responsibilities. The weekend continued with the usual sightseeing and open top bus tour, oh and let’s not forget the Caffè Nero new store visit 😂 JB really can’t stay away from work! It really is a beautiful city and stepped in history.

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So our meal out activity was at ‘The Witchery’. Liz advised us it was a popular choice so I took her advice and asked for it to be booked. On arrival we were greeted with complimentary champagne. The food was divine and my dessert platter was something else and even gave other diners food envy! The best part was when the maitre d came over and informed us there was no bill 😱 We had a healthy sum from Willow on tab and knew we had gone over it so they must have wiped the rest! Result and this just made the weekend even more special. If you ever visit this restaurant, check out the wine list! It’s pretty spectacular with a £6,000 price tag on one bottle of wine!

We can’t thank Willows enough for our special break and the amazing fundraisers who make it possible. After the year we have had this was so needed and helped us to put behind Cancer and start a fresh!

For information on fundraising or how to apply for your special day please visit http://www.willowfoundation.org.uk

 

Life after the big C!

Wow it’s been a while since I last blogged, finding the time now seems impossible. Obviously I’m currently on school holidays, so back to 24/7 care of the twinbops and my oh my are they at a demanding age. I can’t even go to the toilet without Poppy clinging onto me for dear life. This leap better end soon, no one needs a cling on! With the lack of sleep and the ever dibilitiating lack of confidence I have found myself questioning if I even wanted to be a parent this last week. This is no doubt the toughest gig ever! But there are good things on the horizon to keep me going and as my fellow twin mum Liv said “it’s changing your mindset to getting through”. Next month we have our Willow special day and we are off to Edinburgh minus the twins! 🙌🙌 IMG_0381I feel lots of booze coming on, although we went out on holiday totally forgetting the girls were with us. Got shitfaced and then had to deal with the reality in the morning. This basically involved me puking to the theme song of  CBeebies show me, show me! This is progress as my uni mates will recall that time I puked in a sainsburys carrier bag, that had holes in, in our kitchen as my housemate was occupying the loo! #epicfail

We also have a trip to Nice with the family. Round two on a plane with the twins, this time with no grandparents. To be fair they were pretty darn good and they coped with the heat abroad remarkably.

Life is pretty much back to normal it’s easy to forget some days what we have been through this last year. In July I had my first post cancer mammogram. I was so nervous and made a friend come with me. Walking in just flooded back all the memories and I even had the same radiographer do it! What are the chances. Anyway 4 weeks later and I finally got the results last week. It was all clear. The news we all wanted to hear and boy did it feel good. As any of my cancer survivor friends will know the aftermath is still with you everyday. I still look in the mirror and hate what is staring back at me. It’s like a constant reminder of the battle I fought, but I’m here and must be thankful. Plus you all get to listen to me dribble on a complete load of nonsense and make a dick of myself on Instagram!

Katy x

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Discharged!

IMG_0357So this week, a year on from going to the Drs with my lump, I received the bloody amazing news that I have been discharged from oncology! They no longer need to keep tabs on me and I’m just under the watchful eye of the breast care clinic for the next ten years! Yearly mammograms which will give me great peace of mind. So yeah FU cancer, I  kicked your arse!

It seems fitting that in the same week I did my first race for life. Now I’m no runner and you only have to look at my physique to know I’m not fit. I’m still battling post twin and steroid induced bulge, but I HAD to give something back. I sent a message out to my oldest and newest friends, I half expected them to poo poo it or make up some excuse, shit they said YES!!! In the end I managed to get a team of 9 together to get muddy with me – Lou my oldest friend, Lauren a colleague/legendary friend, Kate, Natalie, Laura, Emma, Mariska and Kim my NCT crew.

Yesterday was the big day and what a bloody marvellous time we had. Now my training for this event was the couch to 5k plan. I sat on the couch for many weeks and woke up yesterday morning and ran 5k. Perfect. To be fair I did manage to run quite a bit of it, obviously my body will be destroyed tomorrow as the aftermath of chemo has left my bones and joints in a pretty bad way.

 

These events always get you pumped up and when we arrived I started to feel a bit nervous, but a quick ‘pull yourself together Bailey you beat bloody cancer’ and I was back in the game ready to go!  It was so great to run with my crew and tackle the obstacles. My favourite of the day had to be the mud slide at the end though and I managed to spray my team mate in the face with mud as it came off my hip!!! IMG_0364

It really was a fitting end to a bloody horrific year. In fact I enjoyed it so much I’m already thinking about doing it again next year.

IMG_0359As a team we managed to raise over £1k for cancer research. A huge thank you to everyone that donated. To have strangers donate as they were inspired by my story felt amazing. It means the world to me. Let’s hope they find a cure before my girls are grey and old.

Katy xIMG_0360

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