It WAS tropic…..

So it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted anything and to be honest I hit a bit of a mental block when it came to writing! I’ve sat at the laptop numerous times and nothing would come out! But it was a busy and emotional couple of weeks and I needed to get re focused!!

It’s hard to put into words sometimes what I’m feeling or what I’m going through, even when I’m trying to explain it to family or friends it just doesn’t feel real, almost like I’m talking about someone else! But I’m not, its me I’m talking about and its me that has this horrible disease that has completely turned my world upside down….But acceptance is important in times like this, its hard and I’m still not fully there yet, but I need to accept it we all need to accept what life throws at us and just try look for the positives or the reasons behind it.  I’ve always been a huge believer that everything happens for a reason but there are days I struggle to understand the reason this is happening to me and my beautiful friend!! when I see the worry and hurt in the eyes of everyone I love it kills me….I hate that I’m putting them through all of this, even though I know its not my fault or nothing I could have or can do to control it….it still hurts me to see them upset!

I’m fighting this for all of you that are behind me and supporting me and worrying about me….I promise to do everything in my power to stay around annoying you all with stupid dad jokes for as long as I can!! ❤️  myself and my best friend Elaine often joke about what well be like when were older, and I cant wait to be 2 little old ladies still chasing the latest beauty trend and rocking the greys!! 👵🏼👵🏼

So anyway whats happened in the last couple of weeks…..?? well I turned 34!! (which I would normally give out about but not this year) my birthday was unfortunately spent in hospital as I had an infection and they needed to keep my temperature under control and give me IV fluids. Even so I had a great day full of love and laughter and was completely spoiled rotten!! We also got a new member of the family…. storm the kitten ☺️❤️ she’s adorable and has its lovely to have her to cuddle up with at night, (saves me getting a boyfriend pillow 😂😜). although shes hard work too!

We also went on holiday to Torremolinos (hence the title if you remember my previous post) and it was tropic!! I had some bad days where I needed to rest or miss certain things leaving the boys with my family while I went to bed or was sick, but I also had some good days and That’s what I’ll take from the week….memories were made and fun and laughter was in abundance!! The boys had a ball, Bobby won the dance competition TWICE!! and I’m so very grateful to my family for bringing us away it was so generous and a lovely treat to get away from everything for a bit!

I’m back in for chemo on Monday after almost a month off! I’m not exactly looking forward to it but I am looking forward to getting back into fight mode and hitting this thing with everything I have in me… I also want to mention the GOFUNDME page my sister Natalie has set up, I am truly in awe of the support and donations I have received, and want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you!! The money raised I can assure you will be put to good use, I have already started the process of a detoxifying program which involves an initial face time consultation with the specialist in California.  If anyone would like more information about it don’t hesitate to contact me.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading and the continued support it means a lot.

Ciara xx

“We encounter many defeats…..but we must not be defeated”

 

 

 

 

 

It’s gonna be Tropic……..

Today marks my 7th chemo session and also its the final one before a holiday my extremely kind and generous family are taking me on!! (lucky me) as some of you might guess from the title of this post we are heading off for a week in Torremolinos!!😂😂 and for those of you that don’t get it and think I’m a bit strange then click here!  Those of you that will know my sense of humour will get why this makes me laugh so much, I remembered this Add while driving in the car with the boys telling them that we were going on a holiday, and of course I found this HILARIOUS (Dean not so much!!). I hope it brings a smile to your face too.

I am soooooo looking forward to a week away in the sun even though our weather has been nothing to stick your nose up at lately! Although I am also nervous…..I have been quite up and down with my treatment and the last couple of weeks especially, I was actually due to have this chemo last Tuesday but my bloods were low ( specifically my neutrophils) which resulted in me having neutropenia and therefore it was too dangerous to administer the chemo drugs.  Also they have decided that because of the nausea I’ll be an in-patient going forward! it means missing two days at home with my boys every 2 weeks but it’s necessary and if it means I leave here and can then enjoy my time at home without my head stuck down the loo 🤣 then It’ll be worth it! Plus it gives me time alone to write this and reflect on everything thing. You gotta find those silver linings and try turn the negatives into positives!! This is something I’ve always struggled with I am generally an upbeat easy-going  person but sometimes if I want something to go a certain way (like a nice day out for example where you have all these wonderful mary poppins like ideas but it turns out more like problem child mixed with chucky😂😂 ) It would wreck my head but I’m learning to let the little things go and just live in the moment.

Anyway we’ll all be heading off in 2 weeks and I get a 4 week break from treatment so fingers crossed I’ll be good and well to spend some quality family time with my boys and my family making memories that will last a lifetime and get to enjoy a cocktail or two 🍹🤞🏻😋.

Today I had a progression MRI to check the tumours on my spine, my consultant told me nothing urgent showed up that needs any action to be taken so that’s great! But he needs a day or two to have a proper look and see if they have shrunk or gotten bigger or if theres more 😣! But positive vibes along with all your support will get me through it!

That’s it for this week just a small update! I will be back with any results I receive and again thanks to all of you for the likes, comments, shares and heartfelt get well wishes they really help a lot!

I also just wanted to end by mentioning its men’s health awareness week from the 12thof June!  We all know a man who won’t go to the doctor! But guys it’s so so important if you are worried about anything GET IT CHECKED yes the thoughts of what it could be are so scary but early diagnosis is key!!!! And believe me it won’t go away on its own!

So ladies share with your dads, partners, brothers, sons etc….. And make sure they know all the signs of what to look for ill insert some info here!  

As always thanks for reading and until the next time take care.

Ciara xx

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years!”

WE GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP……

Symptoms, side effects and the future….  

Unfortunately for me my type of cancer does not really have clear signs or symptoms until the late stages, which is what happened in my case! But some signs can be pain in the abdominal area, swelling of the stomach and blood in the urine.  Up until I was diagnosed I had been treated on an ongoing basis for urinary tract infections getting antibiotic after antibiotic with no real relief! This resulted in my doctor eventually organising:

A cystoscopy: This is a procedure to look inside the bladder using a thin camera called a cystoscope. A cystoscope is inserted into the urethra (the tube that carries pee out of the body) and passed into the bladder to allow a doctor or nurse to see inside.

So with that procedure booked in I got on with life and it was Christmas time so everything was put on hold, and even though I had started feeling quite unwell in myself in general on an ongoing basis. I remember even having to come home early the night myself and the girls met to exchange our kris kindle pressies!! 😔  I remeber the girls noticing how swollen my stomach was and this had been happening regularly , where I’d feel so uncomfortable and swollen but I would put it down to my diet or digestion as at this stage my appetite had started to deplete drastically!!

Then as I said previously I ended up in michaels in january ironically 5 days before the cystoscopy was scheduled! And because I ended up being admitted to hollestreet and how the scans were looking it was suspected that I had ovarian cancer and my cystoscopy was cancelled! I ended up having it done anyway 2 weeks later when they realised the ovarian tumours weren’t the primary and they couldn’t figure out where this cancer was stemming from.

Anyway we know now the diagnosis as I explain in my previous post, I spent a total of 7 weeks in hospital since that very first trip to michaels A&E back in January, I never got to go home and digest or take everything in before all the surgery and treatment began so everything has been such a crazy rollarcoaster of a ride up until now, I think im only just starting to actually process it and understand what it really means for me, right now my future is uncertain BUT I guess you can say the same thing for everyone. None of us know when our time is up, so I plan on trying (its not easy somedays) to enjoy each day im lucky enough to have in this life!

Cancer can be a lonely place, when you first hear the news its like you cant believe it (well for me anyway), this couldn’t be happening to me?? I cant have cancer?? BUT I do and so do many many others more and more I hear about it affecting someones life! As a lot of you know one of my very best friends is also battling this horrible disease at the moment. we met the first day of school and will celebrate 30 years of friendship ths year ❤️!! Check out her blog for some inspiration

With that being said I have now experienced it from both sides….worrying and feeling helpless for someone I love….and now being that person that others worry about and want to help! Its not fun from either side I can tell you that much.  Sometimes I cant help but feel like a burden, not that for even one second has anyone made me feel that way its the opposite actually lol people cant do enough for me! And im so grateful for that but, I felt lost even though I was surrounded by people and love and support I felt alone and bewildered in the face of this terrifying thing I knew I had to try and fight because no one can do it for me it’s up to me!! Although having the people I have around me makes it so much easier and less scary, hence the title of this post…..we all get by with a little help from our friends.

Until next time, Thanks for reading!

Ciara xx

“Material things that are lost can be found…….The one thing which cannot be found once lost is life”

The Diagnosis and treatment plan designed for me!

Sooooo…..we’ve reached a conclusion FINALLY! Obviously not the news myself nor my family or friends wanted to hear but look at least we know now? We have a reason for all this pain and discomfort? we have something to fight against now? I had to, in the grand scheme of things be happy with that knowledge at least.

The cancer I have is called urachal adenocarcinoma, a very rare type of bladder cancer, The Urachus is basically useless it makes up your umbilical cord in you as a baby and stems from behind the belly button down to the bladder, for most people this just dissipates into nothing and cause no concern. BUT I have to be different and go get the rarest form of cancer just to be awkward like!! 🙈😂 I was told by my doctor this was literally just a case of extremely bad luck! Yaaaaaayyy

Unfortunately another obstacle was about to get in my way!  Something that had shown as just a bunch of blood vessels (apparently) on my spine in my previous P.E.T scan was now a cause for concern 😞 time for an MRI …..

Once again not the news I wanted….I was told I had 5 tumors on my spine one of which that was sitting on my T10 vertebrae had gotten so big and heavy it caused the vertebrae to fracture and collapse. (Thankfully not severing or compressing my spinal cord) but this  has been the reason for my back pain the whole time!

At this point we know the cancer originated in the Urachus, spread to the dome of my bladder, my ovaries and now spine.

So what now? Well….. Only 2 and a half weeks out of a 6-8 weeks post op recovery time I was getting sent for emergency radiation….surgery to insert a port in my chest to administer my chemotherapy and a date to start said chemotherapy.  WHIRLWIND!

Radiation is not my friend!!!!! The area of one of my main spine Tumors had to be blasted from the front through to my back which meant the radiation hitting my stomach and essentially burning it. Yuk!! This for me meant the worse case of nausea in my life (and I’ve been pregnant twice with what I thought was bad nausea) no no no! Nothing has or ever will compare to that feeling,  I couldn’t get out of bed I couldn’t eat or drink I felt horrible I didn’t even want my phone near me to contact or talk to anyone I just wanted to curl up and ride this awful thing out alone!!

This obviously isn’t a choice and especially with two boys wanting to see me strong and getting better, so we carry on and next up CHEMO…… 😱

Because of the aggressiveness of this cancer and the fact that I am young and in the grand scheme of things relatively healthy they decided to come at this hard. A plan of 12 fortnightly sessions of folfox and 5fu, I get the folfox administered through my port in the hospital and then a pump of 5fu attached to me before i leave and go back two days later to have it removed then I’m free til the next one, It still makes me nauseous and the first week i’m normally quite drained then my levels come back but then its chemo time again!! Its a vicious circle.

I will never forget my first session, it was nerve wracking i thought id feel different or it would hurt or id become radioactive!! 😂😂 but no…..truth is you feel nothing maybe a little cold in my case but the thought of it is worse i promise!!

Thankfully in my case I have an amazing support network around me and i am so very very grateful for that, the amount of love and support i have received so far is incredible!! My family and friends are outstanding, I would not have got through this last few months without the support, and now since sharing my story the support from you guys has been phenomenal also! I am truly grateful, reading all of the comments it really does help so THANK YOU ALL from the bottom of my heart!

Thanks again for reading and feel to contact me or share in the hopes we can help others realise you’re not alone in this and we can fight this thing together!!

Ciara xxx

The story so far!

So here we are…..Chemo time again!!🙄 BUT this chemo marks the halfway point, session 6 out of a scheduled 12. That means its time to find out if its working eeek! 😬😬

So before we find out the news (good or bad) I thought I should fill you all in a little about how I came to be diagnosed.

I had been suffering from (well what i thought were) urinary tract infections for about a year and a half at this point,  And On Thursday January 18th of this year 2018 I went to st Michael’s A&E after spending a night in excruciating pain in my back, down my left leg and in my stomach and I could feel some kind of mass in my lower abdomen.  They gave me pain relief and sent me for an ultrasound…..This is where the world fell from beneath me, they found something!!!

We didn’t know what that something was and they couldn’t get a clear picture due to the size of this mass practically taking over my whole stomach, so thinking its a gyny issue they sent me to hollestreet to be monitored and booked a ct scan for first thing the next morning, Needless to say this night wasn’t a particularly nice one…So many thoughts going through my brain and again the main emotion that I still feel today is scared!!  I’m not going to lie I AM TERRIFIED everyday!!

FRIDAY: I was transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital for a ct scan and a MRI these showed two massive tumours on my ovaries the left measuring 20cm and the right 10cm and they had now started to bleed into each other and were growing rapidly along with my belly!!

According to the radiographer this WAS NOT looking hopeful!

SATURDAY: Biopsy day! next step was to try get a sample to get a diagnosis…this wasnt possible as they were bleeding so bad so a tissue sample wasnt achieved but they took some fluid to test (which ironically came back benign) but what I should also mention is my body wasnt adding up to what I was presenting with, In the sense that I wasnt suffering in pain for a long time as I should have been , And also my blood work was completely normal with my tumour markers extremely low.  So I was hopeful for a while but they still were uncertain do they do surgery and hope its benign and that’s that! or do we investigate further?

Next step was P.E.T scan…..this should certainly clear things up? not yet! scan results showed shadows in my bladder, my pancreas, adrenal gland and bones.BUT again bloods were showing nothing to indicate abnormalities in my bones?🤷‍♀️ So myself the nurses and my consultant all still none the wiser but now im getting more frightened with every day that goes by and I still have these massive growths inside!!  So Cystoscopy (look inside my bladder) next !

Results of this again were confusing yes there was something in bladder but results weren’t conclusive no one knew what we were dealing with so we decided to go ahead with surgery as this is the only way to confirm for sure! so that came next….

February 14th: Day of surgery: I had a complete hysterectomy ( no more bambinos for me) and a third of my bladder removed! I’ts kinda ironic in a way you know I would have thought I was finished my family but when your are told the choice of having another child or ever trying for that little girl I always dreamed of to save me from a house full of smelly boys lol,  But I wouldn’t change them for the world!!😍😊    Everything was sent to the lab and then we wait and recover!

THE LONGEST WEEK AND HALF OF MY LIFE goes by and we finally have results!!!! Albeit not the outcome I wanted to hear……CANCER!!!

This is just the gist of things to start and give you a little picture of the last few months.  I will delve further into the type of cancer/treatments/outcomes etc in my next post!

I hope you enjoyed reading and look out for the next one and maybe a couple of beauty hacks and tips thrown in for those who are interested! 😜

Ciara xxx

” In a world where you can be anything…..Be kind!”