Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A Theory Of Fun

I apologise for my lack of posts, I've been very busy negotiating the Nemesis of emotional roller coasters - may have been apparent from my recent uncharacteristic rantings - but also packing my social diary full of FUN to counteract. This was advised by a medical professional by the way so I'm passing on the wisdom. So far this week I have seen my beloved family, Shrek the Musical (awesome), Matilda the Musical (dumbfoundingly incredible), and have yet to fit in Britney at the O2, a sleepover, 2 dinner dates and, oh yes, and work. In a week.

I think the problem is fun has been such a rare commodity over the last year or so that I'm like a chocolate addict after lent, hoovering up every offering that comes my way.
All this fun comes at a cost. my flat is neglected which is not conducive to polite gatherings, so I go out to see all the people I've also neglected instead, which means chucking my clothes in a pile before flopping into bed to get up to go to work, which means more mess and less time to sort it into the zen-like abode required for proper relaxation, and guests. How did I go from being a sick Stepford Wife to a well chore-a-phobe in the space of a few months? The good news is Dadjokes can't renege on his offer of making it legal, since the wheels are very much in motion. He will just have to learn a few more skills in the kitchen...

Conclusion: Fun is hard work. On top of the work work, this back to real life business is a challenge. Not mentioning the residual fatigue I'm determined I don't have, but if I quietly reason with myself mid-yawn in the upper stalls, well, I do.

There are rules (this is me we're talking about);

No drinking till weekends
This means less toxins day to day, a childlike excitement for Friday evenings and no adding a hangover to the midweek fatigue equation.

Scheduled Dates with the TV
Thank the lord of down time for TOWIE and MIC (but shh)

In Bed By Midnight
This is not a self imposed rule but a bodily imposed one. My eyelids do not physically stay open past 23.55. If at home a chemical reaction occurs between the sofa cushion and kinetic pull to the duvet, and the time frame is reduced to 20.45. Rock and roll...

Roll Up Shoes
Yes you heard me, flat shoes that roll up in my handbag. I am ashamed to say my post docetaxel legs are not friends with my beloved high heels. They spasm ache most of the time, and I very tentatively think heels might make it a bit worse. My YSL pencil heels cannot be looked upon for cold turkey purposes, I am having withdrawal symptoms from my Camilla Skovgaards, so I wore them out last night, spasmed all through the second half and hobbled on the cobbles till I could hail a cab. Expensive.

Install an Early Warning System
I think mine is malfunctioning at the moment, but it is important to detect signs of excessive candle burning. These include eye bags (I've been piling on Creme De La Mer The Concealer - so effective I failed to notice the excess baggage), an increased coffee intake (I didn't touch the stuff for a year and now I'm up to nearly 1 a day), and failure to adhere to the story lines on TOWIE or MIC...

As with most things in life, I need a balance. My plan is this: Tidy, fill the fridge, Skyplus some horror movies, and have the girls round more often than not. Maybe then I can push my bedtime to 21.30 for party season...
the most fun I've ever had in my life

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A Holiday How To

Aside from new records in watermelon consumption and excessive wine use, I feel I've achieved something this holiday. Back in April when I mentally planned a trip to light up the end of the tunnel, and make use of my neglected summer wardrobe, I was looking down the barrel of a proposed lumpectomy. A month on and the news of a more drastic, bikini scuppering surgery put paid to my holiday plan until reconstruction, with a party taking it's place. I just didn't want to feel uncomfortable on the beach or by the pool, otherwise I would have had a mini break mid chemo, complete with both boobs, but minus any hair whatsoever.

The new news of a year to two wait for a complete pair make me adopt a f*ck that attitude and challenge myself to a normal-in-the-face-of-asymmetry beach holiday ASAP.

After buying my two Mouille one shouldered bikini tops in a Morphine daze, I was feeling a little more confident so went on with that general theme for the rest of my holiday attire. Let me tell you, camouflage dressing is a hell of a lot easier in winter when high necks, sleeves and totally covered backs are de rigeur. An obsessive daily visit to the holiday section on Asos quickly told me that a hot Greek climate would be a little more tricky.

First I filtered out all the right side asymmetrical pieces, (they'd require support, show radiotherapy 'tan' and highlight weird flat plane where hill should be). Backless, spaghetti strappy, cleavage revealing, low cut anything. This left not much, but just enough to get slightly excited about packing. I bought a two-tone floaty one (left) shouldered dress that could be adjusted to suit. Plus a bandeau crop top thing to put a comfy in. I later learnt that the bandeau does not adhere to usual laws of strapless bras and requires a complete two anchors to hold it in it's rightful place. but the dress was worth the constant repositioning of left 'tit'.
A simple high necked, sleeveless dress from CiCi with a dipped hem to draw attention below the waist. A black silk jumpsuit that yes, is backless, and even a bit side-less, but is also black so disguises my wonky abnormalities, a heaven-sent left shouldered beach playsuit from River Island, and finally, a waterproof prosthetic.

I've been too busy to book in for my official prosthetic fitting (for 'busy', read 'chicken') so am making do with comfies on a day to day basis. I'm convinced that smaller chested ladies don't really need much more, but you can't really get them wet, and my goal here was NORMAL, so swimming and sunbathing must prevail. I went on and got a beanie baby boob (not it's real name, but certainly it's inspiration). The idea is that the tiny beads shift and mould to a natural shape; it was the cheapest option, so I followed the sizing guidelines and bought a '3'. In hindsight I should have tried it at home first. Instead I massacred my old, useless, normal bikinis and cut out their innards to make pockets on my new ones. I then sewed, packed, flew for 5 hours, went straight to the pool, resplendent in beanie boob, and freaked out DadJokes with my disproportionate left bosom, where vacant space used to be. There followed a frantic Cypriot search for needle and thread (Fred?Fred? What is this Fred?), and an evening spent emptying my boob of two thirds of it's contents before it almost matched up to my real one.

Those in the know (i.e DadJokes) might be able to tell, if they really looked out for it, but it is now day 5 and I've been sun lounging and sort of swimming with the best of them (not sure lying on a Lilo counts), undetected and not too hot either. (In the temperature sense, I'm confident I'm considered hot in the swit-swoo sense, since 98% of Cyprus' tourism clientele are as wide as they are old...)

So, after extensive scientific trials at the Almyra hotel, I can confirm that frilly, one armed bikini tops are the key to moving undetected among the 'normals'. One armed swimsuits, not so much. I sewed a pocket in one of those too, but there's something about the expanse of material under the boob line that highlights the imperfection.

My conclusion is this: Take the lead from your own wonkiness and apply to your wardrobe. A-symmetry is the best form of flattery when it comes to beach holidays, and if you can throw some bonus frills into the mix, even better. I'm happy to say I genuinely forgot about the issue a bit more than than was medically advised, since my radio tan managed to deepen even through the Factor 50. The last few days I resorted to carrying a hotel flannel round to drape over my armpit at any hint of sun. Not the best pool side accessory, but you can't have it all.

The lengths I will go to for the benefits of medical research are boundless by the way, I'm willing to test my 'normal' bikini theory in such far flung places as Mauritius or Bora Bora if anyone should feel the urge to utilise me...

Thursday, 6 October 2011

A Postcard From Paphos

I'm blogging from my third day of a looong awaited holiday, where I promised myself no work (which includes blogging) but I've unexpectedly reached the pinnacle of tactlessness and my sensitivity threshold has been breached and if I don't write it down I might implode. It was during a massage you see...

I've tweeted about how a few solitary comments from slightly, let's say mentally compromised well wishers, took my fragile post treatment state, smashed it on the floor and directed raging bulls from Pamplona to the studio in N1 where I was shooting that day, to trample over it. Since then I seem to be an inadvertent collector of shit-scary comments.

The first went like this via email: 'oh, you have the same kind of cancer as me, what a relief to find someone else in that 5-10% bracket of people who won't get better and lead a normal life.'

Eh? I should be more intelligent than to take on board the ramblings of an insensitive nut job, over the medical professionals who have thus far omitted that important information. But I've already blogged about how intelligent goes out the post- treatment window in favour of irrational and jelly-like.

Having deleted the rest of the email, finished up a private breakdown in the studio toilet and tweeted my angst to receive countless cheery responses (thank you thank you), I bolstered myself back up and set off for the wonderful Katie Selby's wedding weekend of joy.

Granted it was an emotional day, so maybe I was already a bit taut when one drunk guest came to tell me how she 'nearly shaved her own head' (tip: this is along the same irritating lines as 'I have perfect vision, unlike you speccy four eyes, but I'm going to wear those plastic dummy frames because they are cool'. But x 1000). 'It's because my mum had breast cancer like you, and just finished radiotherapy like you, and thought it was all clear like you, but it wasn't and now it's secondary so all very tragic.' Um, yes, VERY tragic, but in what realms of possibility does this sound like a conversation I want to partake in? She was drunk enough to be forgiven, and not even notice my abrupt departure mid sentence, which just left DadJokes to pleasantly deal with the tail end.

My next collectors item was procured at the Look Good...Feel Better Beauty Editor day at Selfridges. An otherwise amazing experience, this year somewhat dampened by a hijacker, who hadn't paid £20 to have a time slot with me, but came to tell me she had breast cancer in her late 20's, nowhere near as bad as mine and was I on Tamoxifen? (Yes), well be careful of Tamoxifen, because the side effect is cervical cancer. OK thanks for that. I think this must be what it's like for pregnant women, I bet they get all sorts of motherly strangers feeling their bumps and proffering stories of horrific childbirth.

So then came my holiday. The culmination of all this shittiness, my reward at the end of treatment, my treat where I'm testing out the powers of the miracle bikinis, the chance to escape from reality and rest properly for the first time in ages.

So while I was looking forward to my first Cypriot massage, I didn't expect the 50 minute barrage of jabbering advice, and horror stories I was presented with.
My therapist was a loon of epic proportions, and since I was doubtless a captive audience, it made perfect sense to relaaaaax me with tales of lymphodeoema and her own mums mastectomy and subsequent demise ('it's the operation; as soon as you let oxygen at it, it'll take over your liver'). She finished with an impromptu 'clinical' lymphatic massage which frankly terrified me and bloody hurt too.

I think I'll avoid putting my intimate medical history on those spa forms until I'm a bit more on the mental mend. The view from my sun lounger is certainly helping, as is the lack of wifi and email avoidance. No offence dear emailers, 99% of my inbox is amazing, so at the risk of sounding a bit Dear John, it's not you, it's me!

Unless you're one of the aforementioned idiots of course...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iSad RIP Steve Jobs

Location:Pathos, Cyprus