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

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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

Chemo complete

And just like that the chemo stage of my treatment is over! Sadly the prosecco couldn’t flow so I treated myself to an ice cream from the amazing Fabios. imageI’ve been incredibly lucky and one close friend has given me a gift for each treatment, including a voucher for Fabios. From cinema tickets to magazine subscriptions, it has made each cycle bareable!

Whilst some days it feels like it has gone quickly, others I’m just reminded of how this has impacted my, all of our, lives. As I sit here typing I’m starting to feel the side effects of this cycle, but remind myself it’s the last time!!! I have some time now to prepare for the next part of the journey – my radiotherapy treatment. It’s mainly going to be a battle of driving to Mount Vernon and sorting child care for the twins for those 3.5 weeks. I hate not being able to plan things, I need to be busy and I can’t commit due to not having treatment dates yet. Very frustrating. This has also made me start to reflect about how I’ve missed out on meeting other mums. I don’t get to go to many groups as it depends how I feel. Therefore when I turn up at them, like today, I just feel a bit out of it. Now anyone who knows me knows I can talk the hind legs off a donkey, but today I just sat with the girls and struggled to interact with the other mums. Thank goodness for Hurrah for Gin because many of her scenarios popped into my head and made me chuckle out loud!

So what’s to look forward to now? Well we have the twins 1st birthday, which I have kind of gone overboard with! The trip to New York that is being paid for as a treat! Oh and then the joy of going back to work and finding a nanny for the girls! Never a dull moment in this house!

Thanks for all your messages of support during my chemo it really means the world to me.

Don’t forget to coppafeel and check your bits!

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All aboard the TAX train!

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Family trip to IKEA once I recovered from tax!

Thought I would just drop a few lines to give you an update on the last two rounds of chemo! I have had two rounds of docetaxal now and what a joyful bitch it is! I spent the first four days after my treatment skipping around like I was invincible! No one is going to beat this super mum of twins. Then POW the tax train hit and the steroids wore off. It is a completely different experience to FEC. Firstly, I awoke with a very fetching red face, think Susan from Guess Who and you are on the right track! Then the aches kick in and this led me to be bed bound for a day and a half. Everything hurt. Then just because you aren’t going through the mill enough you get hit with the most vile mouth. It’s dry, sore and your taste is ruined. Lucky for me I have access to some great support groups and I’m friends via social media with other breast cancer ladies. So I hit them up for some tips. Turns out ice lollies are great for the mouth and you can also try pulling oil. At my Drs appointment I got all the drugs and supplies I needed for my next round of tax.

So how am I after the next round? I’d just like to stress that that was number 5 out of  6. Whoop whoop the finish line is in sight.

imageAs per usual my body adjusted and the side effects were not as harsh. I even managed a 5k walk on Saturday, possibly over doing it, but you can’t stop superwoman! I still have the most vile mouth and I’m fighting a cold that is clinging on for dear life!

At my last cycle, I was lucky enough to be joined by one of my oldest friends. It made the time go so quickly.  I cannot stress how important friends and family are at this time. The support of others really helps you through it. I have come across the friends that don’t bother, whether it is because they don’t know what to say or they just can’t be arsed to support you as they have more important shit in their life. Who knows, but it does make you treasure those that have gone above and beyond. So a huge thank you from me, you know who you all are.

In other news the twins are teething and it’s pretty much been hell! I’ve been at breaking point. I can only imagine how hard one teething is, so then double the screaming, throwing themselves uncontrollably and waking through the night. All I can say is good luck Beyoncé. Oh hell that’s right you will have a shed load of a nannies dealing with the shitty reality. FML.

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Next on the blog, I will be attempting to do a video blog using the lovely products supplied to me by Sara from the Cancer Hair Care charity. I will be attempting to use a brow kit and lashes. The inevitable is happening and my confidence is hitting an all time low in regards to how I look now. Wish me luck!

#Parentingtheshitoutoflife

imageWe see this hashtag alot on social media accompanied by pics of what appears to be the picture perfect family life. Well if only it was all that easy and rosy! Before I had the girls I was constantly told I would make a brilliant Mum, whether it was because I was used to a class of 30 and they thought it would be a breeze having one or maybe I just oozed mumminess 😬. In reality, it’s not been a breeze and I have found it very challenging. I mean obviously I didn’t have one as I was ‘blessed with twins ‘ oh and the c bomb just for special measure! I’m pretty sure they inject you with guilt when you have a baby and I’m guessing it will plague me well into their teen years!

The girls were 6 weeks prem and this does have an impact on their development, but my god I did not realise how it would effect me mentally.  I constantly doubt my parenting skills and blame myself for them being left behind their peers. If I’m not blaming me, I’m blaming cancer and the fact I cannot be a proper full time mummy. I mean as I write this I’m sitting in the cancer centre waiting to see the Dr, while the girls are at home being cared for by grandparents!

I do struggle with friends sharing their babies hitting their milestones as it’s a constant reminder of how behind they are. Yes, I know they will catch up and yes I know they are doing things at their own pace, but when you are in this situation everything becomes amplified. NCT ladies you know I love you all and your support has been amazing so please don’t feel bad when you read this!  You are constantly bombarded with questions ‘Are they crawling yet?’, ‘Have they got teeth?’, ‘Are they sitting unaided?’ cue my melt down as I answer no! The other thing I have a bad habit of doing is looking at the twin Mummies I know on Instagram 😭 Some of whom have reached dizzy heights of fame and mass followers. Their lives look perfect and their twins are all very advanced. I have to remind myself that they were probably born at a later gestation than the girls, were bigger and so on. A friend/colleague has recently had identical twin boys (I know there must be something dodge in the water in our staff room!) and I can feel the comparisons coming already and I can’t help but feel envious of her journey that is not tarred with the c word.

Then I stop. I look at my beautiful girls. They are happy, healthy and full of personality. I would not change them for the world and I know I am doing my best at this parenting shizzle.  We have recently moved to our new family home and I can see the impact this is having on the girls already. This makes me smile. This makes me realise I too am #parentingtheshitoutoflife.

 

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See ya FEC-er!

Goodbye FEC and goodbye 2016 a thoroughly hideous year for many reasons!

Well that’s it my three cycles of FEC are done and I’m half way through my chemo plan! I’ve pretty much been down in Dorset recovering at my parents for the last two cycles. In fairness I have coped with this remarkably well and the side effects have been minimal. It makes me reflect on how incredible my body is and how strong, my once weak, mind is. You see before I had the girls I struggled with my body, not just the physical appearance, but I have endured anxiety and panic attacks. It pretty much ruled my life for years, stopping me from getting on with living! After I had the girls I remember saying to my mum that my body had really surprised me by sailing through what could have been a hideous pregnancy. I had put off having children due to my fear of hospitals and the birth. Convinced something horrible would happen. When we lost our first baby, a tiny part of me was pleased that the birth wasn’t going to be a reality just yet and I had some breathing time! Anyway fast forward to now and I have all the evidence I need that I am a lot stronger than I ever dared imagine. Positivity is key and that isn’t achieved without the amazing support from family and friends.

Obviously the last cycle was over Christmas so it was great to have all the family together.image

Even the chemo unit pumped out some xmas belters to lighten the mood! It’s not really the first Christmas I had hoped for the twinkles and it was hard to shop or get excited. I didn’t get them a single present 😦 In the back of mind though I know that the treatment will be over by their 1st birthday in April and boy will they be spoilt! Fingers crossed even the radiotheraphy regime is boxed off. We have already received the best present which is a new family home. Yesterday we picked up the keys and I couldn’t think of a better way to start 2017! image

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and don’t forget to CHECK YOUR BITS!! X

Gone!

So that’s it, the inevitable happened and the hair has gone! For me this was the hardest part of having treatment. I have constantly battled with self confidence issues and my hair was always the one thing that made me feel better. It actually happened later than I thought and a tiny part of me thought I might not lose it! Ha wishful thinking. I’m not going to lie, seeing clumps of your hair come out is heartbreaking. The girls began to get covered in my hair and I knew then it had to go. It was on my terms and my amazing hairdresser came round with the clippers to shear it off! I never realised how much it would hurt when your hair falls out, it was painful so such a relief to have it gone.20161126_180724

Then came the melt down in the meat aisle at Tesco! The day before I braved the shave, I went to get my NHS wig. We made a family day of it and took the girls. On arrival we were made to feel very welcome by Katy at Hair to Ware and as normal basically took over the place with our Bugaboo Donkey! The girls settled in to some chairs and got cosy ready for the hilarity of what ensued. img-20161125-wa0024I didn’t take pictures of all the wigs because frankly some were so hideous that they were off my head quicker than a prostitutes knickers! In short, I ended up with the first one I tried on. It was the perfect fit and very much like a style/colour I would have. I was pretty impressed with the quality for an NHS wig and it looks pretty darn good.

Now I know you are wondering how does Tesco comes into this, well we decided to pop in on the way home and get a Costa and pick up some shopping. I was of course wearing my new wig and was VERY self conscious. The girls were wearing their best melt down in history and having left Costa because I felt everyone was staring at me, we then dashed around the aisles to get our shopping and upon arrival at the meat aisle (I mean seriously Katy, the meat aisle of all the places??) it all just got too much. The tears started streaming and I just felt like I had a huge beacon on my head saying ‘Look at me!’. Of course no one was really staring at me, no more than usual because we have twins, yet I just couldn’t cope and the reality of this whole situation had hit home.

A week or so on and I have now worn my wig out, big shout out to the St Nicks crew for making me feel so relaxed and complementing me on my new do! It really helped to boost my confidence and I know that I can now wear it out and feel normal-ish. Most of the time you will find me sat at home embracing the Vinnie Jones, but I do still struggle when I am out in whatever means of head attire I choose to put on. I’m sure as time goes on I will become more confident and think F*&@ it, but I guess it takes time.K x

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Twins and things!

Time for a more positive post about my beautiful girls. After all I don’t want this blog to be all doom and gloom as this year did bring me the two most gorgeous daughters.

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Hurrah for Gin is a must read!

As soon as I found out I was expecting identical twin girls, I started to get excited about dressing them. One of the most common questions I got asked when I told people I was having identical twins was ‘Are you going to dress them the same?’ and my answer was no. It has always been important to me that the girls have separate identities and as we are discovering day by day they are both very different. Admittedly, there are several items the girls have the same – mainly coats as either a) they were just too adorable or b) they came in colours where I was bound to be asked for the 5000th time – one of each!! As you can tell this is a huge bug bare of mine.

Now I am an avid instagramer and spend hours of my day browsing and finding lots of independent shops to decorate the girls room with and dress them in. One of my favourite clothing labels at the moment is Lennie and Co. The brand has been created by the lovely Amy, who is a full time graphic designer by day and then she works in the evening on her own brand. She designs and hand prints each top to order, whilst her mum hand stitches in each and every label. I felt I received such a quick and personal service from Amy that I would highly recommend and definitely shop again! I just want the girls to grow a bit more so they fit in their tops! Now to decide who has which one! With my love of bunnies I couldn’t resist the kissing bunny one in sherbet!

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Bunny garland is from Velvteen_babies, Lightbox and Star cushion from retro kids_com both can also be found on Instagram

The kissing bunny t-shirt is a collaboration with Natalie from WonderandRah. A mum of two, who loves to use modern art to create these amazing prints for your children’s rooms or nurseries. I have just ordered three prints for the girls nursery in the new house and no doubt I might sneak some more in for around the house as I just love them! You can even find them stocked in Liberty of London now.

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One of the three prints I have ordered.

I love that these mums are out there bossing it and to support them over the high street makes me happy! Now what you waiting for go and check out all their lovely products and support small businesses!

Details for the brands featured-

Instagram –

@wonderandrah

@lennieandco

websites –

http://www.lennieandco.co.uk

http://www.wonderandrah.co.uk