Ovaries on the back burner!

Now we are all guilty in the winter months of out colding each other. What I mean by this is, we spend most of our time between October and March saying “oh I’ve had that cold ”to “man I am so ill” and even “ughh I so know what you mean I’ve been sick all winter”. I honestly think it’s a right of passage of being British to tell everyone that we have all had that damn cold going around and ours is worse then yours! Now although it’s the norm comparing one runny nose against another, what about when it comes to having an chronic illness compared to someone with a terminal illness. Now that’s a game changer!

As so many of you know my dad And best friend Mick has terminal Lung and Oesophageal Cancer which is spreading quickly and is limiting his time with us. We have all been told it could be a matter of months and that’s something we are still trying to get our head round! For now we are spending every minute we can having fun, making memories and being us!

Thursday night was a shitter to say the least! I was having a major endo flare up at home and had just taken codiene, when I got a call from mum saying Dad is not well. Fast forward a blue lighted ambulance trip, being in resus, then finally on a bed in Majors! To say we were scared would be playing it down! Dad was extremely poorly and we only had hope and each other to cling too.

Once we managed to get a seat I was in agony! My left ovary was playing up more then a child in the bank, my back was in pieces and legs numb like ice cream. Yet somehow it just doesn’t feel right to say oh I’m not feeling too good when someone is battling life or death.

My parents are so supportive and I truly would be lost without them. One time after my dad hadn’t driven for months , he drove to mine just to share his morphine as I was struggling. Through the darkest days they still make sure I am managing and doing ok! I am more thankful to them then Simon Cowell is to Botox!

Since Dad has become sick it’s hard not to feel a sense of guilt when complaining to him about how much I am in pain, or how I feel so rough, or struggling to get by. I’ve had to watch myself a few times when moaning and groaning to not say, “ughh I feel like I’m dying 😅” My dad would be the type to take the piss and say shut up women, but still no one wants to be that dramatic.

Although wrong, it’s hard to not compare your symptoms to someone who has a terminal illness. I find myself saying a lot, “well I’m lucky it could be worse”or “I wonder how dad must be feeling” to “oh at least it’s not a serious as cancer”. Sometimes Dad and I will sit and chat about how shit it is taking all the fruity meds and having appointments and all I can think is you need them more and I’m lucky I don’t need them like you do! But i shouldn’t. I shouldn’t compare myself to anyone else! No of us knows what it’s like to live through something until actually living it. My mum comments all the time that she can’t even imagine how the pain must affect me and how hard it must be living with a chronic illness.

We all have our own issues, illnesses, stories, dramas etc and don’t get me wrong a cancer card trumps all but that shouldn’t stop us from being able to express our sadness of being dealt a wank hand of living with a chronic illness! We should never compare ourselves to others or judge how another deals with pain as we are all different. Each of us should feel proud of even being able to talk about how we feel and how it really affects us instead of always just saying “IM FINE”!

I must add though if you come to me when I’m hormonal, bloated, in pain and have been awake all night and tell me how tired you are after a full nights kip (JACK!!!) then yes I will polity tell you to fuck off, grow up and inform you don’t know what it’s like and stop being a bitch!!!

Jo

XxX

Thank you, Gracias, Merci, Dankenschön!

How do I even begin to give thanks for all the love and support of late. Saying thank you a thousand times a day can end up sounding about as fake as poor ol Rylan’s teeth.

Since starting this blog the response from friends, family and online supporters has been more then I could ever of imagined. Hand on heart I thought my blog would only be read by my mum who was just doing it to be kind. I didn’t even expect Jack to read it (he used to pretend to read my uni work and never did) but the amount of people who has read, commented and shared is wonderful. My blog really is my therapy of getting it all out in the open and spilling my guts. Seeing as I now don’t see creepy leg guy therapist this platform truly is my sanctuary.

Although writing the blog has been great, interacting with people who read my posts was a little more difficult, hence staring my Instagram page. Instagram is a beaut of a place with little squares and photos that we carefully pick. Again the Instagram community for endometriosis warriors is unbelievable. The encouragement, pick me ups, kind words, supportive messages and just lots of love sent is enough to warm your cockles. Yet I felt I could do some, say more, help more. Then came the support group!

I have been looking for a long time for a local endometriosis support forum. A place to ask advice, seek solace, rant and rave or just be in the shadows and know others are out there. Endometriosis has many groups but none for my local area of Kent. I wanted somewhere where everyone felt a sense of relief that a fellow neighbour may just finally understand what you are going through. Now I’m not bashing other groups in any way shape or form, but a lot of them are not local let alone in the U.K.! For instance I would find someone on a group with a similar story to me to find they are 10,000 miles away, have different treatment options, access to a variety of medications not known in the U.K. and alternatives to pain managements and care. Whilst it’s great knowing others in the world are understanding it’s even nicer when you are able to chat to someone who gets the difference between Always, tampax and bodyform and knows who Phil and Holly are.

Since setting up the group 2 weeks ago we currently have over 200 members. This alone is something i could have never imagined. I was thinking maybe a number of about 50 odd women supporting each other, not over 200. My heart is bursting with pride when I see ladies opening up and being honest and raw. I feel a sense of pride when many comment back with love, kindness and understanding for the original poster. I feel humbled like I never thought I could.

For 10 years I had felt alone. Isolated. Weird. Embarrassed. Scared. Misunderstood. Anxious. Ashamed.

Today I feel i am 100 percent me, as I have an army of women around me who are passionate, caring, kick arse and brave and that is all that matters!

So thank you to each and everyone of you. You really are all just bloody well amazing.

Jo

XxX

Oh No Mummy Needs a Plaster!!!

Each month when Aunt Flo decides to shows her ugly face P always looks at me with a pitiful look and asks if I need a plaster, I smile politely say yes please and whisper to myself “My dear I pray you don’t suffer the way Mummy does”.

We never have privacy in our house even when it comes to toilet habits so Penelope seeing a period is as just as normal as it is seeing Jack take a poop whilst me or P are in the shower or bath 🙄! Yes she is super duper young and I will protect and keep her innocence for as long as possible and I haven’t had the chat yet, but I’m also not going to shy away from the matter, especially when she strolls into the loo without a second thought. Don’t get me wrong I would love to be able to weep into my hands when I see the smear of blood on the paper each month, but anyone with children know that unless you bolt that toilet door with a thousand locks, there is no escaping the ankle biters even when starting your god damn period!!

When she first asked me what’s that when she saw some blood in my knickers I was taken aback. What do I say to this little girl standing in front of me with one shoe, Paddington bear and a candle stick nose. So I told her Mummy has a sore minni and I will be ok (hoping she would just bugger off and go back to the Lego) but nope off she trotted off to get me a hello kitty plaster and to tell Daddy I have a poorly minni.

I spoke with Jack after and explained that I really didn’t know what to say. What do you say? How do you say it? When do you talk about it? When is it appropriate? What does she even want to know? All these questions swirled in my head and she was only 3 years old!

Jack and I always made the promise to be open about everything and anything, never dismiss a question and to always be honest, yet I didn’t expect Pen to be asking such questions at such a young age. So far I have told her that us ladies get a little poorly minni every month and we wear plasters to help us. Also she knows Mummy gets a tummy ache and finds Daddy very annoying! I have told her that there is nothing to worry about and one day when she is older she will need special plasters too. Well she thinks it’s great that she will get to wear purple pads and have hot water bottles. At this age I’m happy with that amount of knowledge and as she grows and asks me the more I will tell her. I would hate for her to not be fully informed and panic but also I would never want to scare her shitless either. Also I will also need to tell her about endometriosis and hope to god it hasn’t been passed down to her, but that can wait until she is at least in a crop top bra.

Endometriosis can be hereditary so the possibility of Penelope developing endo is high so Jack and I will have to be fully prepared. We have spoken about it endless of P suffering and we will do everything in our power to help, support and make her feel listened always. If she needs time off school then she will, if she wants to go on the pill she will, if she wants to have CBD she will, if she wants surgery she will. If she wants to just cry every month she will! Anything she may need to ease this horrific son of bitch will we do!

We are just keeping our fingers crossed it doesn’t affect her and in the mean time we are going to enjoy our time before the hormones, slamming doors, giving us daggers, hating the way we breath and wishing she was adopted all comes crashing into our lives with full forces. If she is anything like me though she will be an angel and not hormonal in the slightest 😏

Jo

X

In the words of James Blunt. You’re Beautiful!!

Ask any woman on the planet if they like to be called beautiful and they will say yes. Weather it’s from a husband, wife, lover, friend, co worker or even a stranger, being told you are beautiful gives you a little lift. Now if that’s all you are ever told and never anything more would that piss you off?? As women (or men) does being told you are beautiful feel like enough or should we be complimented more on our personality/achievements/goals etc??

P gets told nearly on a daily basis that she is beautiful. She is gorgeous. What a pretty face and oh my god you have a lovely looking child. Now as much as this is a great compliment (especially when they say she looks like me 😂) and I think she is the most stunning child on earth it does get me thinking about how we compliment each other from a young age.

Growing up I was never the typical pretty little child. I had auburn hair, freckles, gappy teeth and a little short. Although this may sound cute to some it wasn’t classed as the typical beautiful little girl. Friends in my school had the long swishy golden hair, porcelain skin, button noses and no gaps in their teeth and looked like a sodding Disney princess with birds carrying their pencil cases. I remember adults complimenting the parents on how beautiful they always were but that was it. I never heard them tell their parents how good they were at dance, sport, singing or even keeping a tamagotchi alive, it was all just about the looks and how wonderful it must be to have a beautiful child!

As a young girl and teenager all you want is to be pretty and have the boys try and kiss you at break time, so talents were out the window and not given a second thought. My main worry was making sure I had enough JLo glow on and my handbag was small enough to only fit in a tictac and a few B&H. Now though as an adult I couldn’t be prouder of being told how good I am at a certain skill, achievement or even just being a normal looking human being, raising a family and having a Dyson.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t tell children how beautiful they are (I 100% think we should everyday) but I think as a mum and a woman I will be more conscious on telling P how clever she is, how strong she can be, how courageous she is, how brave, funny, crazy, free and humble she is as well as being beautiful inside and out. My parents always told me I was beautiful but they also told me I was smart, funny and kind. With the culture of social media I have been made far more aware of how young girls these days strive to look a certain way or wanting to be inundated with comments or likes on how fab they look, how skinny they are or how smooth their filtered skin is and quite frankly I don’t want that to be the most important aspect for P and her life.

Let’s tell our girls that they can be beautiful and have brains too and be whoever the fuck they choose. So to any of the other red haired freckle faced gapped toothed kids out there, don’t worry you will be just fine you beautiful creatures 🥰.

Honey I need to see the Shrink!!

We all know how important mental health is now we are in 2019, but go back 20 years, mention you have a therapist and the next thing you are the twin of Dr Hannibal Lecter. Thankfully today we can talk about mental health as openly as we like without the fear of a straight jacket and nutty bus arriving at the door!

Yesterday I had my first session with my therapist. It was an interesting session to say the least. I don’t know about you but when a therapist asks “so what brings you here today” all I want to do is shout “ummm because my head is Fucked you bloody Sigmund Freud wannabe ” but yet I don’t, I smile shyly and say I need to focus on me and my mental health. I am British after all and we are far to polite!

I decided I needed to see a therapist when yoga, running, dancing in the kitchen , singing to 4 non blondes and drinking wine wasn’t cutting it. I felt I needed to get all my shit out there to someone who doesn’t know me or that doesn’t have a opinion. Since finding out my endometriosis is the most severe it has been and having your dad battle cancer does make you feel just a tad like you have the world on your shoulders. Family and friends have been above and beyond amazing and I couldn’t wish for more, but sometimes you just need get all your crazy out to a professional stranger.

Since a teen I have seen a few counsellors and therapists and feel no shame in admitting it whatsoever, although I have to say many of them have been fruit loops themselves and not really a great deal of help. I had one make me shut my eyes and pretend I’m a leaf, another tell me life is life a elephant and I need to be the snake and I’ve even had one who was more interested in giving me leaflets then actually giving me advice. So I’m clutching at straws with this latest poor sod to help me out.

I think each of us have our own personal views on what self care and sound mental health is. For some it may be a holiday, a few weekends away. Some could be a bubble bath and a glass of wine, others could be a retreat or a hike and some may need the help of medication and professionals. I’ve tried all of these methods throughout the years and they all have had a positive impact on my mental health in one way or another. As the world is turning and each day brings a new load of stress self care will change on day to the next. For me an early night and good book may be required whereas the next may need the listening ear of a friend, family member or a professional to help me through might just do the trick.

The world if fucking tough out there and we all have shit that we wish we could wave away with a magic wand. Putting our mental health first should be as important as brushing our teeth or scrolling on Instagram when having our morning poop! How we choose to look after ourselves is an individual choice but I think as long as we are choosing self care and finding time to look after our mental health then are doing pretty damn ok.

Jo

Xx

No one wants to be a let down!

Since I was a child I have always been a little bit of a nervous Nancy. I would always get a jippy tummy, sleepless nights and on one occasion before a primary school fashion show I peed my pants!!!! I would love to say as I have gotten older my nerves have become better but that would be an outright lie. Although thankfully I don’t pee myself anymore 🙌🏻.

Last week I was honoured to be a bridesmaid at my cousins wedding. When I was asked to be a bridesmaid my first thought was ” I hope to god I don’t get any pain and let anyone down”.

Having a chronic illness is about as unpredictable as the British weather. I have good days and I have bad days. I always dread events due to the fear of getting sick and what doesn’t help is when I get nervous I tend to have a flare up.

Having never been a bridesmaid before I didn’t know what to expect and the unknown can make me get a little anxious which then can lead to my endo flare ups. So many questions and scenarios would spin through my mind such as: Would I fall down the aisle, would I not be able to wear my dress, would I have been bleeding so heavily I would leak, will I get faint, is a toilet near by or would I be able to last the day. These were all niggles that kept running through my head. Luckily the bride was a chilled as an iced latte which really helped put me at ease as I didn’t feel scared of her being a manic bridezilla 😂

When the wedding day came I felt better then I had in ages, no pains, no bleeding and no discomfort, just excitement. Learning to relax and let go really does help me. Knowing that I can not control everything and that it is not my fault I get these symptoms is a major factor or leavening to live with this condition.

I didn’t fall, I wore my dress, I wasn’t bleeding, I didn’t faint, I didn’t need to pee and I danced (and drank) all night. And I had the best time ever!!!

Jo

X

Let’s talk about death baby let’s talk about you and me!

Where the hell do you even begin when you need to talk about death. It’s not something you usually bring up over a green tea and a biscuit although it could be something you bring up over a Pinot and Marlboro light. Lately though death is all I think and talk about white wine or not.

Being told the man you call Dad has cancer is words then can never be unsaid and will stick with you for a lifetime. My mum and I was informed on the 17th of November 2017 the day of my mums birthday that Dad has oesophagus and Lung Cancer. We had booked to go out for dinner that evening and to this day I can remember feeling a sickness that hasn’t gone away since (you don’t really fancy a salmon fillet after news like that). We were shook to say the least. You hear all the time about this person and that person and even Kylie having cancer but you just feel it would never happen to anyone you love.

Since that day my family and my life has never been the same again. Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, hospital appointments, Hospice appointments the list goes on and this has became our norm. We have had some high and some lows all the while trying to stay as upbeat and hopeful for the future.

Last Friday we got the news that the Cancer is spreading and is spreading quite fast. Even though we have lived with this for nearly 2 years hearing those words floored me like Mayweather, as I knew it was time we all spoke about death.

Talking to Dad about his wishes has so far been hilarious yet heartbreaking! Anyone who knows me and my family know we love a good joke, bitch and laughter. We have spoken about Songs, suits and rosary beads. We have laughed, we have rolled our eyes and we have swallowed that lump that is always present in the throat. Dad quite bluntly said I don’t give a fuck what you do as I won’t know a fucking thing as I am dead. Well what the hell do you say to that 😂. He just said one thing don’t put me in the bin as your mum will get confused if I am recycling or not!

To some laughing and talking openly about death is worse then watching Sharknado but to us that’s what gets us through. I don’t know anyone who enjoys these forms of conversations but sometimes having them gets it all out and makes the darkest issues seem just that little bit lighter. Also it helps from just wanting to curl up in a ball and weep like Simba in the Lion King.

My Dad through all of this has been the strongest, bravest, funniest and most positive person imaginable. He has for sure kept Mum, Jack, P and I strong. They say when the chips are down you find a inner strength to carry you through and that couldn’t be truer for my best friend, my gossip buddy, my dancing partner. My Dad.

Jo x