Saturday, 20 July 2013

Rah rah rah! Again.

After round five of chemo on Monday, I'm afraid I joined the complainers camp during the HOTTEST WEEK OF THE YEAR! I've been a bit blah blah blah about the whole affair, but after a few days sitting in front of a fan in my pants, I feel like I'm finally getting over the worst. I've got my 'RAH RAH RAH cancer get lost' hat back on.
So this week, I am looking forward to:

  • a trip to the Royal London Hospital of Integrated Medicine. (I didn't ever think I would say I was excited about a visit to hospital, but catch up on my post from 12th June to see why this place has more perks.)
  • Complementary therapies at the Bromley-by-Bow health centre curtesy of the really great charity, Cancerkin
  • A trip to Bath for my brother's wedding on Saturday!! Which leads me to my next point...
  • Sorting out an outfit for the happy couple's big day. 7 dresses are on the way, oh how I love internet shopping these days.
Other than that, I will hopefully building more strength whilst shouting Rah Rah Rah to encourage myself. You should do the same, it's exhilarating!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

All things bright and fruity, all veggies big and small!

As I'm now completely obsessed with anything fruit or vegetable related, I simply couldn't resist this fruit carpet, designed by Villa Eugenie for the Kenzo S/S launch. Read more here.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


I love it when a good plan comes together. When I saw the following recipe I kind of knew it was going to be a high five moment so here goes, see how you like it! Rice cracker. Peanut butter. JalapeƱos. YES!
And more good news, I finished a book in 2 days flat.
Lola first introduced me to Miranda July, and her short stories No one Belongs Here More Than you (a great book) a while ago, so when I saw her name on a friends book shelf I had to borrow. It Chooses You was written when July was procrastinating whilst writing a screenplay The Future. The Penny Savers magazine (equivolent to the Friday Ads in England) was her saviour; as she tired over her script, she would throw her imagination head first in to the lives of the people selling their wares. Sounds like my kind of distraction. Anyway, she took it one step further, this is how cool she is. After taking a particular interest in the seller of the black leather jacket for 10 dollars, she found herself ringing him, asking for an interview. This first interaction lead to the meeting of lots of interesting characters.
Thus I finished it in 2 days flat!
Miranda July has started a new project called We Think Alone. Ever fancied taking a look at a strangers' sent emails. You know, on the tube or something, well now you can! Subscribe here to be sent 20 weeks of 20 people's sent emails every Monday. I've had my first email this week and have already learnt how to become a pro-basketballer! I'll look forward to Mondays for the next 20 weeks I think.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Feel good

After an emotional boost, I feel ready for a creative challenge.
Perfect timing!!! The Feel Good Drinks company launched a poster campaign competition in June which sounds right up my street so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to a nice and fruitful design.
See here for more details. The closing date is drawing near (30th July) so get your healthy thinking hats on quick.

Don't stew over it

I wasn't intending on having such a philosophical  few days of blogging but I had such an important day at the Haven yesterday that I couldn't possibly not share the news. I used another of my free sessions on a mind and body therapy session and I'm here to sing it's praises. It really honed in on the fact that not only is it true that you are what you eat; but also you are what you think. We have become so used to the idea of stress as being a normal emotion that we are ignoring quite how bad it is for the mind AND THE BODY. 
Although I knew it in the very back of my mind that worrying is a ridiculous past time, try telling me that when it's too late and I've already worked myself in to a tizz about something probably quite petty.
Well, no more! I have learnt a few methods of preventing stress before it settles in. You can actually trick your brain in to thinking you're happy for one, so larf out loud once in a while. Even if your not feeling so giddy, blue even; your brain will release happy hormones just like that. A freebie! It now feels like by not having a giggle it would really be looking at the gift horse in the mouth and I never like doing that.
I have mentioned the Emotional Freedom Technique before, but only to say that it has suddenly found itself in my vocabulary and I've no idea what the 'ell it is. I have now learnt that it combines acupuncture points and affirmation, a very effective tool to reduce stress involving more tricking then treating. Instead of stewing over something, allowing the body to know that your worried and releasing damaging stress hormones at the same time, look at the issue. Head. On. 
Here's how and I warn you it does sound absurd: Grade how worried, scared or angry you are about something from one to ten (ten being boiling point). Now comes the weird part... Think of a 'setup phrase' e.g. (Mine are related to my cancer but it can be absolutely anything) 'Although I am really worried about my next lot of chemotherapy not working and making me feel ill, I love myself and I know it's doing me good'. It usually goes in sets of three so from there: 'Even though I am terrified that I'm putting my body in someone else's hands and feel stressed, I love and accept myself and I know the chemo is doing me good'. Then 'Even though I'm so scared of not being able to finish the treatment because I will get ill, I accept how I feel and love myself anyway'. 
As silly as you may feel, by saying this whilst tapping the following points you're releasing your body's natural energy and allowing it to flow freely. Say the whole thing once whilst tapping the side of your hand, below your little finger. Then repeat the phrases loosely, adding if you want to, whilst tapping the base of your eyebrows, on the bone below your temples, under your eyes, under the nose, on your chin where the crease is, under your collar bone, under your arm (in line with the nipple), and finally top of your head.
Then grade again how worried, scared or angry you are. Really look at how your feeling. You'll be tap, tap, tapping whilst eating your hat from now on because guaranteed the grading will have lowered, even it's only by one.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Kiss it better

I went to see my nephew this week and when his Mumma hurt her finger I noticed he went straight in to kiss it better. It got me to thinking how: a. CUTE that is and b. I really wish you could kiss cancer better. Then I remembered visualisation. You can kiss that nasty disease good riddance! 
When I first got diagnosed the word visualisation was cropping up everywhere and I thought it was a load of nonsense but worth a try. Although there has been no scientific evidence to prove it, they say if you concentrate hard enough on a certain part of your body it can wake up the cells in the area: 'Hey cells, Wakey Wakey! There is an intruder that you really really need to ward off!' (That's putting it very politely.) . 
As I started my chemotherapy on St. George's Day I had a pretty good basis for a story, I was going to kill my very own dragon! I'd sit myself somewhere quiet (that is hard enough in my flat as we live above the NOISIEST nursery) and focus in on the tumour imagining it as a dragon. Well, it started off okay, I'd fantasise a mini me all dressed up in a shiny suit of armour running towards the dragon ready to save the day but then I'd forget about the job in hand. I'd lie there making up the most thrilling tales of heroism but was taking it away from the tumour and living the dream in my head instead.
I've tried quite a few different story ideas for visualisation and my imagination has definitely got wilder but I have never felt it is quite working the way they say it should, so since the sore finger incident I have changed tack. It doesn't have to be quite so dramatic! The simpler the better in fact.
I picture the areas where my cancer is as a black spot. I kiss it and kiss it and kiss it until it starts to change colour - cell by cell - to a much healthier pink. Call me crazy and goodness knows if it works, but it definitely makes me more aware of the tumour. The area does seem to tingle and I'd like to think that's my healthy cells giving a biiig stretch and coming to life. 
You should give it a try. You do feel silly at first, and sometimes it's hard to concentrate. It's like meditation. You can use it anywhere; on the tube, waiting for a hospital appointment even and it really doesn't have to be cancer that you're helping to heal. You could be wanting to cure something as simple as a headache but they say you really can't under estimate the power of the mind!