Archives for posts with tag: positive

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When I write a blog it is always started by something someone has said, an article I’ve read, something I’ve seen on Facebook, events around me or a mixture of them all.

Quite often I listen to a song I haven’t heard for a while which makes me think. Recently I heard ‘Something inside so Strong’ by Labi Siffre (seen above), he was on the One Show recently talking about his personal struggle being black and gay, he channelled this struggle into lyrics and created this powerful and successful song. Words I’m sure that resonate with a lot of people for many different reasons….

Deny my place in time, you squander wealth that’s mine
My light will shine so brightly, it will blind you ’cause there’s

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
But you’re doing me wrong so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone
Oh, no, something inside so strong
theres something inside so strong

Labi Siffre – Something Inside So Strong Lyrics | MetroLyrics

There are times for all of us when our lives becomes a struggle, happiness is harder to reach, a daily struggle and it feels difficult to escape from our dramas. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with your own problems and forget other people are dealing with their problems too. Listening to the song above about inner strength made me think, even in difficult times our inner strength can support us even if some of us don’t realise it yet.

I take inspiration from those who have realised they have the passion and ability to turn around a negative into a positive. Kris Hallenga is one of those people, in 2009 at the age of 23 she was diagnosed with stage 4 (there is no stage 5) Breast Cancer and now runs an amazing charity aimed at creating awareness of Breast Cancer in young people: coppafeel.org

“Kris turned her shock and anger into pure kick–ass, immediately making it her full–time mission to encourage her friends, her generation, and YOUNG PEOPLE everywhere to keep hold of their wonderful, carefree lives by getting to know their boobs – and appreciating the fact that, shitty a reality as it may be, breast cancer can affect YOUNG PEOPLE, at any age. A message overlooked by breast cancer organisations.”

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Cancer seems to have this effect,  it ignites a fight and determination in you didn’t even know you had, out of many disasters great things have been started. The confidence and inner strength of others helps Breast Cancer to get the excellent exposure we see today. Another good example of this empowerment is the #show your scar campaign on Twitter for breast cancer. To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the women seen below appeared topless and proudly showed their scars to the world, shown here in an article by Elizabeth Earle this week in ‘The Sun‘.

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Many reasons cause us to lose our confidence; not just Cancer, however there will be a point for us all our inner strength will kick in and support us and lead us to a better place. For those who are not there yet we can take inspiration from Kris and the women shown above, it may not be possible to fix your problems but we can do something positive with it, be it something big creating awareness or starting with small steps that allow us to smile again. It may take you a while but your time will come and you will shine again!

My love always

Angela

xxx

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This week the battle lines will be drawn, I will find out all about my enemy and plan my attack  the appointments are booked and the treatments will begin. I will do my duty and dedicate myself wholly to the cause and get back later with the missions progress….

The word ‘cancer’ has frightened a lot of people it has a bad reputation and a negative attitude. It does have a positive side though it reminds us how much we love the people around us and how important it is to be loved and happy, all the small stuff doesn’t matter, the daily stresses lose their priority and the power of a smile can turn around any situation. Watching a film on the sofa whilst the washing up sits in the sink doesn’t make me feel the slightest bit guilty. I also took the new shoes out for a gorgeous lunch on Saturday and only nearly fell over 3 times. (Not due to alcohol may I add but a lack of exposure to heels!!!)

The moments of happiness We enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them but they seize us” Ashley Montagu

It is well known that when one part of your life falls apart another will dramatically improve and this is true the rest of my life continues to skip merrily along its new path. After a weeks holiday in a caravan bonding with my daughter we have developed a new mutual respect for each other realising how much we have both grown this year and need one another. We both have feelings and emotions and it’s important we care and look out for each other, I’m probably still an annoying mum but suddenly I’m not so bad after all! Just don’t mention bedtime or the mess in her bedroom…

My ex husband has taken my news hard understandably as he also lived through this 9 years ago with me and has also realised that all the small stuff doesn’t matter anymore, most of it anyway. Potentially this wake up call that will keep us in a much more reasonable and amicable direction, it is possible to treat each other more positively and get on with the lives we chose. I’m not nieve though it’s a fine line and it wouldn’t take much to tip the balance the wrong way but time will tell if we can get it right. For now I appreciate one less stress in life.

One unexpected development in my life this year has been to meet a man who exceeds my expectations every time I see him and has shown me a level of care and affection that I had long forgotten existed. I love having a new journey to enjoy, despite all the other stuff going on we still find ourselves giggling and feeling loved which I am very thankful for.

However one not so successful part of the school holidays is my waistline!! Out for lunch, dinner, fish and chips at the seaside, picnic food, bbq’s, ice cream over the park. My daughters holiday diet of nuggets and chips has come to an end, no excuses now, Time to fill the fridge with fruit. Did someone mention a takeaway? Oh and meeting mums for lunch on Thursday, Oh dear doesn’t look like much chance of a healthy lifestyle this week either, when school starts back then but it’s my daughters birthday weekend… Oh crap my halo is well and truly slipping……

Where did I put my bike…. And that apple!

Enjoy the holidays

A xxx

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ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices are governed, there is nothing that will threaten your happiness….” Gerald Rogers. I have spent too much time and energy in the last few years focusing on the negatives and how to try and fix them, I am now realising the best way to do this is to focus on the positive and the more positive things will step forward in your life. At the beginning of this year I let go of my marriage I cannot fix and I don’t feel bad about it, you can try to fix a bad situation but there comes a point you have to accept it is not possible.

Its amazing how when you split from a long relationship you realise how many people around you have done the same, people you saw in the street now have a story to tell, advice to pass on, its no longer an issue at school,  my daughter is one of many children whose parents have separated. Being able to talk to those who are further down the line than you offers invaluable advice to help you negotiate the tricky process of ‘co-parenting’. The process is not easy you split up for a reason so it doesn’t mean suddenly life will be a bed of roses apart, communication can prove complicated. However now it is limited to a ‘need to know’ basis making it simpler at least, still currently working out this area of my life but in time let’s see what happens.

Part of embracing the positives is not to dwell on the past, look forward after the end of a marriage life is now what you make it and nobody can stop you. You are responsible for your future, as scary as that is the opportunity is now out there to create the life you want, that independent, confident, happy, positive and caring girl is now finding her way back into the world. I now laugh a little harder, my smile is a lot brighter and I find myself smiling for no reason. Its another experience in life that you can learn from and gain strength that it will develop your character and make you a stronger person.

There is someone out there who will make you feel special and think you are amazing just the way you are! The heart is full of hope and that’s the way it should always be…

Here are a few quotes from a beautiful article by Gerald Rogers somethings we should never forget…

Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. Be that man that would OWN HER HEART and fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for her. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman

Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid..

Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

Love from me xxx

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Finally, a recent documentary by Kris Hallenga has given us an insight into the life of a younger person with Breast Cancer. When Kris Hallenga was diagnosed with aggressive, terminal breast cancer at the age of 23, she decided to channel her fear and anger into changing the way young women, the medical profession and the rest of the planet see and treat breast cancer in young women. This film is about the sheer strength, passion and indomitable spirit of Kris Hallenga as she battles her illness and tirelessly promotes her charity CoppaFeel! – an energetic and fearless awareness-raising campaign dedicated to making sure other young women and their doctors are made more aware of the risks. ‘Dying to live’ on BBC3, next showing 2am Friday 18th April and then on iplayer shortly after.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03zf3tg

Sadly information for a younger person with Breast Cancer is very limited and you are often surrounded by women over 45 who have a very different life to someone in their 20’s. I emailed my thank you to Kris, her response is below…

Hi Angela!

How are you doing? I have read a few posts on your blog – it’s a great blog!! thanks for sharing it with me. You share many thoughts and feelings I do. 
And yes, it was really important for me to finally get the story of a young woman with breast cancer on TV, something we never see. I strongly believe it’s a completely different disease for people 40 and under, women who have not had kids, not married etc. We have completely different issues. But I am navigating my way through them all as best I can. And you seem to be doing a good job of that too.
I hope you are enjoying this sunshine. 
Big love
Kris

 

Please check out the fab charity Kris has set up reminding all young women to check your boobs!

http://coppafeel.org

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Does this really happen? Are there couples out there who have blissfully romantic and thoughtful relationships full of red roses after dealing with Cancer? I must of missed that paragraph in all those leaflets I read after appointments. Where is the leaflet about real life afterwards?

Do I look across the dinner table longingly at the husband who was very close to losing his life partner. Oh do I heck, he can be just as irritating now as he was 10 years ago when we were thinner, younger, childless with independent careers. The rubbish bin is overflowing that he refuses to empty until he has finished his beer, his shoes are abandoned in the middle of the hallway and the TV now has the News on it, whilst I dutifully cook the family dinner. Love is now a ‘pencil sharpener’ for christmas and I quote: “It had a 5 star rating on Amazon”… We have indeed become closer we are now so close we can wind each other up just knowing what irritating thing the other one is about to do with saying a word!

Do I look at life as a blessing and grab every moment with a renewed enthusiasm? No I do not I’m as down to earth and realistic as I was before Breast Cancer. Life can be irritating, frustrating and tiring, people can still be rude, ungrateful and inconsiderate. At home the Brownie promise needs to be learn’t, the spellings need practising, the bathroom needs cleaning, the fish tank needs changing and we have run out of bread. I struggle with a renewed enthusiasm for these jobs.

The one thing it has done is to make me really appreciate life exactly as it is. When your friend tells you she fell off a skateboard in Toys r us! When mid argument your husband cracks a highly inappropriate joke and its impossible to keep an angry face…There are lovely family moments together, we all laugh at the cat when she gets dizzy chasing her tail, we enjoy walks in the forest on a sunny day or summer days at the beach. We are in no way perfect we never were and never will be and I’m glad it has stayed this way.

I do now appreciate the ordinary, the average, the everyday, the fact that my marriage and family are ‘normal’ and remain the healthy mix of ups and downs it was before Cancer. Life doesn’t become a rose-tinted, stress free, and purely positive experience because you survived, life is life and I’m grateful for the funny, loving, empowering, irritating, rude, frustrating world it throws at me keeping all parts of me alive.

 

 

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Carol Jackson from EastEnders has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and viewers across the country are on tenterhooks to see how she copes with the devastating news that she has inherited a faulty BRCA gene.
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/guest_posts/2017502-Guest-post-Ovarian-cancer-spotting-the-signs?msgid=45577112#45577112

Its not good news but I question the implication that it is ‘devastating’ news for her children. Devastating would be finding out you have ovarian cancer and there is nothing you can do, if you are unfortunate to find yourself in this position action can be taken to prevent the high risks of developing breast or ovarian cancer. Having been through the whole set of treatments in the book Carol’s story is almost identical to mine, I’m not impressed there is a gene in my family but I don’t find it devastating.

At the age of 30, 7 years ago i found out I had breast cancer, then found out I had the BRCA2 gene, as there is so much breast/ovarian cancer on my mothers side. I have lost my mum to breast cancer 15 years ago, and recently both my Nan and Aunt both died of Ovarian in their 70’s. My sister also has the gene but has not had Cancer. Both myself and my sister have had prophylactic mastectomies, it is the best thing we could do to reduce the risks from an 80% chance to lower than that of the general population.

After being treated for a Grade 3 Breast Cancer in 2006 I had a CA125 blood test and ultrasound every 3 months for 5 years to keep a watch on my ovaries until 18 months ago when I had my ovaries removed as a second preventative measure. I have to admit about being very concerned about this, but its the best thing I have ever done. I haven’t gone grey yet and I don’t feel 65! Yes I get the hot flushes but a small price to pay for piece of mind.  Do not worry about finding out you have this gene, finding it means you can take preventative measures. Breast/Ovarian is one of the few cancers that you can do this.

Carol’s story in Eastenders has been very accurate but I’m concerned that Eastenders is adding too much ‘end of your world’ to the possibility of her children having a faulty gene. Its not the greatest news in the world of course but action can be taken before cancer may be diagnosed. I miss neither my breasts or ovaries and am happy with my ‘slightly bigger than the original’ fake breasts.

Like many Cancers in our world.. and there are far too many, research, screening, diagnosis, and early detection are all key to a successful outcome. March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Visit http://ovarian.org.uk/about-ovarian-cancer/what-are-the-symptoms-of-ovarian-cancer/ for details about symptoms.

Ovarian Cancer Action is working to raise awareness of the need to know your family history. If 2 or more women in your family have had breast and/or ovarian cancer, ask yourself: are they on the same side of the family, your mother’s or your father’s? Are they blood related? Were they under 50 when they were diagnosed? If the answer to these 3 questions is ‘yes’, you’re eligible for screening for a faulty BRCA gene.”

If testing is something you need then please do not shy away from it, not knowing is far worse… It could potentially save your life… and prevention is always better than cure.

On a lighter note what do you call the removal of Ovaries? Oopherectomy! Not quite right for my blog name so I settled on: ovary and out!

 

 

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Back in December, Mumsnet blogger Pauline Vance-Riggens wrote an open letter to Now magazine, condemning their ‘Shocking Bodies’ issue. One comment from the subsequent meeting and the responses has made me think:

‘featuring women and their achievements; a focus on what we can do rather than how we look.’

I could not agree more I have always believed judging by looks is lazy and shallow, there is always a story behind the face. Trading on looks alone is short lived, a quick fix. You are far more likely to create a positive lasting impression being intelligent, witty, caring, thoughtful and inspiring. If you are in the ‘attractive’ category, great, but to have ‘form and function’, beauty with meaning would surely be a step forward for the media, if not harder to attain.

For the media to represent woman as thin or fat, beautiful or ugly is not an accurate representation of our world. Apparently we are only interested in the best or the worst, but the increase is ‘blog’ culture and twitter proves we also have opinions, something to say. It is not just about looks.

For my life right now I look nice and average, after my dramas with Breast Cancer and a Brain Tumour returning to looking normal feels great. Everything in my world has more meaning and does not have to be the best, the biggest, the greatest, the newest or most expensive.

To the editors of Now magazine, please lets see more ‘form and function’. Not just the picture but an interesting story behind it…

Well done Pauline Vance-Riggens on mumsnet for starting the debate.

Help! I'm a stay-at-home mum

Be inspired, fulfilled and hold your heads high, stay-at-home mums!

ovaryandout

Great highs, the depths of the lows and why at age 7 do I still have to remind my daughter to say please!

Great highs, the depths of the lows and why at age 7 do I still have to remind my daughter to say please!

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