Category Archives: women

And so, It continues………

I am quite good at some things.

If you tell me “X” is going to happen, that it will hurt, but that by time “Y”, I will feel better and that A,B and C benefits will then cut in; then I am good at coping with “X”.

But, in this, I am not unique. In fact, I think most of us are the same.

When we can touch the sides, mentally, with most problems, we can cope with the discomfort of the journey.

I come unstuck when I don’t know where the bottom is or which way is up.

My surgery was over. I have done very well and was feeling positive about prospective dates in my diary.

My phone rings on Friday evening.

The surgeon wants to see me on Monday morning.

For roughly five minutes I panic, really panic.

Then I laugh to myself.

My panic will change nothing for the better. It WILL absolutely have a bad effect on the rest of my weekend. So……I stop.

As simple as!

“Really?” some may ask, doubtfully.

“Yes, really,” I can reply.

This cancer will not rob me of one single second more of my life’s energy than I can possibly help, and I CAN help this.

So I look forward to meeting the lovely “Mr. M” on Monday morning and leave those cards until they are dealt.

I’ll be grand!!

And so, Life turns another page….

“It’s breast cancer Becky.”

I gulped, so did my friend, whilst she held my hand and assured me it would be okay.

The lovely doctor talked on, but I didn’t catch a lot of it. Her tone was gentle and comforting.

“Have you any questions Becky?”

“Yes…..am I going to die?”

“We don’t even talk about that at this stage. Honestly, it will be fine Becky.”

“Do my daughters need to get checked? Can this affect them?”

“No, they are not at any increased risk.”

That was it, I was all out of questions. I picked up all the helpful publications and nodded agreement as to what was going to happen next.

We left and went to replenish our coping mechanisms with tea and cake.

“How come I haven’t lost any weight Stella?” I asked as I snaffled down my hot, buttered scone that could feed three adults.

“I don’t think it always works like that,” she answered sagely. “How do you feel,” she asked.

Five weeks later I still feel the same. Honestly.

Grateful !

Grateful to all those women that went before me, without my luck, and allowed tests to be performed on them , with the hope of helping others like me; to all the millions of people worldwide that have helped fund amazing research into curing this disease and to the doctors, nurses and specialists who dedicate their lives to helping folk like me.

I am so grateful to you all.

There is no “Why Me?”.

Why NOT me?

But I didn’t need this to know I am blessed; blessed with incredible family and friends, who cradle me in their kindness, their love and their humor.

I’ll be grand ! xx

Cold Comfort

As I approach the counter a mixture of dread and excitement are doing battle within me. The old favourites, chocolate covered and sugar-coated, are there. I place my coffee order and hear a voice saying, “No thank you.”

It takes a second for me to realise the voice was my own. Brilliant, another small victory. Like anyone trying to break damaging habits I am learning to take it a day, and as with now, a confrontation, at a time. As I am confronted with my old problem areas I prepare for those old feelings with my newer and stronger desire to improve on where I am now.

Not exactly mantras, just healthier mental processes, run through my mind, coupled with a realisation that these calorie-laden, body and soul damaging confections are not a “warm pair of arms to comfort me”, as I have often quoted as explanation in the past. They are cold comfort, temporary solace and a ball and chain around my ankle, never letting me fly, to become all I want to be.

I am not trying to say that losing weight is going to cure all ills in my life, but just dealing with an old issue such as this has already given me courage, and repaired my somewhat shaky confidence enough, to enable me to look at other things that need work.

Stuff, whatever your stuff is, is never an answer, but it is usually easy; at least easier than dealing with all that ails us, until it becomes the most pressing issue of all.

The inanimate lump of sugar, fat and flour lies on the shelf and, for this trip at least, I win.

Where Is Our Positivity Button?

Seriously.

Yeehaa, I am dieting again. Big shock I know. But…..big shock, it is working. I mean really working.

My “positivity button” is switched to on and things are going well. I feel great.

Then, as is my way, I got to thinking. Where the hell is this bloody button? I mean, why now? What stars are in alignment that makes this work for me right now. I suppose it’s a bit like kicking a hornets’ nest, but what happened at that very moment, that very second, when I just knew, accepted and actioned something that has tortured me for so long?

Wouldn’t we all love to know why the simplest, healthiest (physically and mentally) and often the most beneficial choices, cause us so much trouble.

I understand the strength of positive mental attitude, but I would love to find and understand its spark. The why and the how.

Or is this all part of being human; the human condition?

A friend told me I have a habit of over-thinking things so, with that in mind, I am just going to enjoy this current frame of mind and get my one size smaller clothes out of storage.

Bring it on!

Life’s Compensations

Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who waxed lyrical about “Youth being wasted on the young.” He sounds embittered whereas I feel sorry for young people; not just todays young’uns, but for the youth of every generation.

I know all stages of life have that double-edged sword aspect, but the angst and self-doubt of my teens, twenties and even thirties blinded me to the opportunities and energy that were within my grasp. Is that what nature does; she gives you the wisdom and self-awareness of middle age and saps your drive to maximise their benefits. We grow into ourselves just as our bodies start to creek and groan with the passing years.

Is it all just a see-saw of gains and losses?  Yes, on all levels.

New technology gives us speed and ease of access in communication and yet so many more of us report feeling isolated. Air travel is common place for most and yet the flight is usually a fraction of the time it takes to get to the airport, get through security, and cope with the delays etc. Our houses have every labour-saving device our grandmothers could have hoped for and every gadget to prepare a healthy and nutritious diet, but we have less time for friends and family and, for most of us, eat less home prepared food than ever before.

So, are we ever any further on than of predecessors? No.

Until time travel is invented future generations will go through the same growing pains me, my parents and their parents did. The scenery and specifics may morph but they will remain centered around those insecurities that haunted us all.

But what about the upside of youth; the energy, strength and enthusiasm. They don’t know the limits, so why are we imposing ours on them?

Important Breaking News!!

I am not making this up!

A gang have stolen £200k worth of Toblerone chocolate from a lorry, as reported in “The Telegraph”. Just in case anyone that knows me is about to call the police let me first say,

“I have an alibi!”

And just for the record, £23k worth of whiskey was stolen on another occasion by the same gang, so I might have to turn some of my friends in on this one.

It brings to mind the time my friend’s house was burgled. It was horrible and they took a lot of things she could never replace; really heartbreaking.

One thing stood out though, the ironing board! They stole her ironing board!

When I saw the report of the chocolate theft I imagined a “Sopranos” type scenario, only instead of a fur coat or diamond ring, Tony brings home a bottle of whiskey, a bar of chocolate and an ironing board! Love to see Carmella’s face!

Be Your Own Best Friend

Throughout my various blogs I have referred many times to the quote,

“Love thy neighbour, as you would love thyself.”

I have also gone over how I did not “get it”, for years, that you need to start with the second part of this before you can understand loving others.

The veracity and truth of this comes back to me so many times, that, each time it does I feel I get a better understanding than that first light-bulb moment.

Friends are wonderful and I am very blessed with mine, but until you learn to listen and respect your inner voice, your inner self, you will continue looking for answers to your problems from others. And no-one can fulfill that role, can know what is truly best for you, better than you.

The act of talking an issue over with a friend is great; quite often allowing you to hear the solution and the sense of it. It can provide a clarity and a comfort that comes with sharing and their loving support.But, ultimately, the answer was within your grasp all the time.

In being your own best friend you need the honesty that comes with this kind of relationship and also the same generosity of spirit you would show to that friend when needed.

Finding peace in being alone should not isolate you, but provide you with a strength of self-awareness and allows you to be a better friend to those you love.

Age-Defying Stars Over 70!!!…….Plllllease

Just had a quick look at one of those add-ons at the side of the article I was reading and have almost died laughing.

As you can imagine from the title it lists a host of movie stars who are all over 70, but, for some of them to be described as “Age-Defying”……..oh, excuse me , I’m off again!

Jane Fonda – maybe there are still some of her original parts there, but after the amount of work she has had done, to list her as age-defying is just… defying logic and reason.

Sophia Loren- ridiculous, trying to hold on to a past beauty instead of embracing who and what she is now – a survivor.

Faye Dunaway – She could join Mickey Rourke as poster boy and girl for NEVER having plastic surgery.

As for the rest, a lot of them look really great; if anything some have actually improved with age ( and perhaps a little help).

The difference is they are trying to be the best version of the age they are now, instead of searching for the Holy Grail of their youth and its beauty.

It must be hard for some, to have been known and adored for their looks, to accept the ravages of getting older.

I’m learning to live with it though!

So, “Sexy” Is Too Easy!

God, I would love to think so! It takes me ages, honestly!

Just kidding, in my dreams.

I love that Dame Helen Mirren recognises the many aspects that add up to attractiveness, but I just find it a bit condescending and hypocritical.

She is still working the off-the-shoulder dresses and “sexy” look ( and well done her, regardless of and not despite her age), so I find her dismissal of this particular form of beauty rings a little hollow. I can almost hear the “Dahling” being purred after the statement.

You are still rocking it Dame Helen, so please, enjoy it and lay off the trite lamentations.

Down With Rom-Com Woman? Really?

Just finished reading an article about how “romantic-comedies” as a genre of movie are failing women, and they have some suggestions on how to fix the issues.

Rom-coms are not my thing in general, but I do not agree with the criticism levelled at them on this occasion. The article believes that, in an effort to better represent women, this type of movie has made the female leads out to be “perfect” rather than complex, as we are in actual life. Does anyone (male or female) watching a Rambo movie think of it as a representation of the average male? I don’t really think so. And most Rom-Coms I have (partially) seen are about as realistic as “Rambo” and his mates. It’s not really their purpose. They are fantasy, fluff and a bit of fun. I would not have looked to them for female role models. Would you?

The article does go on to point out that TV is doing a much better job of showing modern woman, with all our strengths, weaknesses and complexities coming out through the progress of the series. They have the time and capacity to expand on ALL of the characters, regardless of sex.

I agree, and there are some excellent examples out there. I know this one is over now , but , for me, the female roles in “The Sopranos” were incredible and wide-ranging and all caught up in a traditionally heavily “MALE” environment.

If you want to look at media that is not supporting women in a positive way then take on the “Porn” industry. I don’t know how you can keep young boys or girls safe from this huge influence to their ideas on relationships, sex and understanding each other on a level other than as sexual objects. I pity parents trying to shield their offspring as pornography is now so easily accessible and difficult for them to police.

The consequences to young people of taking their lead from porn has a far more damaging and far-reaching effect on all of us than some bit of old tosh of a “will they/ won’t they make it up the aisle” movie.